StableHost. When you are sick and tired of bad hosting providers, what do you do? You head over to Google and search for a 'Stable host'. Come on, you think they just stumbled across that name? StableHost know what they are doing, and there must be a reason why so many people jump ship to them! In this, our StableHost review, we will find out if they are worth checking out! Let's get on with it.
Who Is StableHost?
Launched in 2009, StableHost is a fairly fresh face when it comes to the web hosting arena! But fresh-faced doesn't necessarily mean not as good as an older or more experienced hosting provider. Not only are StableHost pretty new, they also have a really small team of staff!
Unlike some of the "mega-brands" that have thousands of employees, StableHost is a team of roughly 15 people who deeply care about your website and your needs. We treat each customer with the utmost respect as they were our mother. You're not just a number to us, you're part of the StableHost family.StableHost
- Shared Web Hosting
- Reseller Hosting
- Dedicated Server
A fairly full-featured list of options! Of course not touching the levels of services offered by other providers like ResellerClub, but still, on the whole, this is a decently expansive list.
While the list is decent and all of these options are worth considering, the one we will be taking a detailed look at in our StableHost review is their shared web hosting services.
Before we get into that, however, there are a few standout features that caught my eye right out of the bat:
That's how StableHost describes their hardware. All of their servers operate on an SSD (Solid State Drive) network with 96GB of RAM (Random Access Memory) and Dual-CPU's (Central Processing Unit). This allows StableHost to, theoretically, offer superb speeds, uptime and reliability.
Unlimited bandwidth is something a lot of hosts claim, but many actually have hidden limits. Not StableHost! They offer truly unlimited website traffic on each and every one of their shared web hosting plans. Already a really great plus point to them in our StableHost review!
"Clustered hosting offers high availability, performance and scalability" - That's how StableHost describes their clustered hosting servers. By looking at the image above, it seems that this is going to make a really great difference to website uptime, by automatically re-allocating IO nodes, intelligently balancing server load, and automatically preventing node failover. We can only hope it lives up to the bill!
What’s Included In The StableHost Hosting Packages?
Where do I start? There are plenty of features here, just take a look at some:
Fast load times, easy installation, high-quality equipment and unlimited bandwidth like I already mentioned. The list is large, and it's about to get larger! You ready?
Pew pew pew. That's the sound of the features offered by StableHost bouncing into my brain. This is such a nice addition to show right there on the StableHost homepage. It lets potential users see exactly what they're going to be getting from their hosting provider. Transparency is always welcome, and I am really happy about this, so good job, StableHost.
So, we've talked a little about the main features, it's time to now do a full break-down of each plan. This will determine what, if any, differences there are between them, other than price!
|How Many Domains||1||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|SSD Or HDD Used In Servers||SSD||SSD||SSD|
|SSL||Free '"Let's Encrypt" SSL||Free '"Let's Encrypt" SSL||Free '"Let's Encrypt" SSL|
|Anti-DDoS Protection||Yes - 2Gbit/s||Yes - 2Gbit/s||Yes - 2Gbit/s|
|Website Builder||Yes - SiteBuilder||Yes - SiteBuilder||Yes - SiteBuilder|
|Assisted Website Transfer||Included||Included||Included|
|Money Back Guarantee||30 Days||30 Days||30 Days|
|Customer Support||Phone/Ticket 24/7 (Only Technical Support)||Phone/Ticket 24/7 (Only Technical Support)||Phone/Ticket 24/7 (Only Technical Support)|
|Choice Of Server Location||Phoenix, Chicago, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Singapore||Phoenix, Chicago, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Singapore||Phoenix, Chicago, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Singapore|
|Free Automated Backups||Free In cPanel||Free In cPanel||Free In cPanel|
As you can see from the table above, the differences between the three plans are as follows:
- Starter - 1 domain only
- Platinum - 50 FTP accounts instead of 500
I'm kind of at a loss why StableHost would do this with the Platinum plan, possibly it's a typo on their fact sheet? Other than these two small differences though, almost everything else is identical.
Another thing that separates the Platinum plan from the rest is the inclusion of Anti-Malware software and VIP support.
Now is the part of our StableHost review that might prompt you to pull out your wallet! Three plans are available, starting at $3.50 per month for the Starter plan and rocketing up to $28.50 per month for the Platinum plan.
A $3.50 per month entry price is pretty good! But as we have seen in many of our other reviews, it often doesn't paint a full picture, so let's pop the Starter plan into out basket and find out how much we will really be paying:
Well, how the tables have turned. Once again these little tricks are revealed! Honestly, at this point, considering the number of reviews we have done, this shouldn't be surprising anymore. And well, it isn't, it's just disappointing. Let me explain why.
Remember how I was raving and praising StableHost for their transparency when it comes to technical specifications? Well, why did they not continue that onto the pricing too?
The plan only remains at that $3.50 per month if you're buying a 36-month contract, that's three years! If you want to pay monthly (and by the way, props to StableHost for offering monthly payments) you will have to pay $4.95 per month.
Here is a total breakdown of exactly how much each plan will cost you, based on duration.
|Payment Period / Plan||Starter||Pro||Platinum|
Well, the old saying is that you get what you pay for. So whoever decides to splash out $1026.00 on hosting for 3 years, I hope you get a fantastic experience because that is a lot of money!
StableHost Customer Support
Customer support is a really important section to me, personally. I have worked in customer support, both front facing and remotely, and let me tell you, it’s not an easy job. Having a disgruntled customer at the end of the phone shouting at you for something that isn’t your fault is always disheartening.
However, it is important to understand how each and every hosting provider performs in this area. Bad customer support can truly break an otherwise wonderful hosting experience. On the other side of the coin, great support can lift up an otherwise bad host. So, it’s an important part of this StableHost review.
You have three options when it comes to support with StableHost, they are as follows:
- Phone Support
- Ticketing System
The first two in that list are incredibly common, but the inclusion of a Knowledgebase is a nice touch. That being said, it's not very extensive. We'll talk about that later, though.
Traditionally, ticketing has been the way to go. That has kind of faded away slightly since the introduction of powerful and fast live chat systems. However, for anything detailed or technical, tickets are still preferred by technicians and users, alike.
However, StableHost doesn't have a live chat system, rather strangely. Not even for pre-sales, like ResellerClub does. Anyway, let's talk about how StableHost performs here.
The short answer is: Good and bad.
Let me elaborate. As you would have seen in the comparison table above, StableHost offers 24/7/365 ticketing support only for technical issues. So, if like me, when you sign up for an account and have a hold placed on it awaiting further verification, you have to pray that the billing team are currently working!
Well, they work 9AM-5PM MST, which threw me for the loop a little, since my purchase was made at 6PM MST. I sat and hoped something would change but sadly not, I didn't get a response and activation until 9AM the next day.
On the flip-side, when I genuinely encountered an odd issue, the ticketing response was good and very fast. I was browsing the cPanel options after setting up my account and it seemed to be missing the SiteBuilder that StableHost talks about on their page.
I checked the dashboard, nothing. I used CTRL+F and looked for "sitebuilder" in case I was being oblivious, nothing. So, I went ahead and sent off a ticket to support. Here is that thread:
Odd, right? Although what we are looking at right now is ticketing support, and StableHost did a decent job with it. The response was pretty speedy, but the first response seemed to not quite understand what I meant by SiteBuilder, even though it's on their own homepage!
This one is a bit harder to show off in a StableHost review. They offer two phone numbers to call, both based in the US. So I went ahead and called!
After waiting for a couple of minutes I was connected to an agent. I asked a few probing questions about what was included in the shared hosting packages (‘Do you use SSD or HDD in your servers?’) and generally tried to be not very polite. It’s not nice to do that, but it is a good test of how the support holds up.
And well, they held up well! Professional and polite throughout, as well as informative.
Like I mentioned previously, the knowledgebase itself is not particularly extensive. The information it does contain is valuable and accurate, though. Sadly, it's not very pretty or easy to find what you are looking for.
First Impressions During And After Purchase
Whilst deciding on which server to choose when signing up, I remembered the "Clustered Hosting" information from before. Noticing that only two servers, Phoenix and Stockholm offered this, I decided on using Stockholm servers, since we're based in Europe and it should be faster!
No hidden fees when purchasing! That's a nice touch at least!
After dropping through the payment process, I landed here:
My first thought was: "Where have I seen this before?". And the answer? Here. It's not that strange to see two companies using the same dashboard, but what did strike me as odd is that there are a few similarities between StableHost and Tsohost. Mainly, they both brag about superior performance. So I'm very interested to see if StableHost follows the Tsohost path to oblivion or if the similarities end there.
Moving on from the dashboard, we head into the tried and trusted cPanel. I always love it when a host realises that there is pretty much no way they are going to make a better panel than what cPanel offers. So props to StableHost here!
Ah cPanel, how wonderful you are. We are provided with a standard ‘paper_lantern’ cPanel theme to begin with, but there are customisation options in the cPanel settings section.
As it turns out, StableHost has done a really thorough job here. I won’t show all the options in pictures, otherwise, this review will turn into a picture book. I will, however, point out some of my personal favourites and highlights.
- Softaculous App Installer (Over 400 installations available, from WordPress to SEO improvements)
- IP Blocker (Does what it says on the tin)
- File Manager (Again, self-explanatory. Really useful for adding images and files to your site’s backend)
- Open Ticket (Here, you can open and submit support tickets right from cPanel, no need to go back to the dashboard!)
cPanel makes things really quite simple and I truly believe that unless you have absolute confidence that your own solution is better, then every hosting provider should be using it.
Here is what we will be taking a look at in the performance section of our StableHost review:
- Host’s speed during low upkeep
- Server’s overall uptime
- Anti-theft security strength
As with all of our reviews, these tests will be updated over time, as performance isn't something you can judge once and then ignore forever. Just look at Hosting24, who have gone from a sub-par host to one of the best. Sometimes things change, so we must, too.
Host Speed During Low Upkeep
For this part of the performance evaluation, I used the code editor previously mentioned to create a really simple HTML site. It has fewer than 30 lines of code, in total. These kinds of sites should be a breeze for all but the absolute worst hosts, so let's see how StableHost does with it!
And here is how this magnificently designed site fared:
Not bad, but not great either. That seems to be a running theme with StableHost if I'm honest. Ups and downs all over the place. A score of B is pretty good, and most of the response speeds are fairly consistent, so if I can say one good thing, it's that StableHost is pretty darn stable across the globe!
Server Overall Uptime
A basic WordPress website was set up. I went ahead and set our friend Uptime Robot to check its performance once every minute - by doing so, we can see the host's overall availability. Both in downtimes and in the fluctuating response times. Here's how it went through several days of testing:
Overall, decent, again. Nothing standout, but the uptime is 100% which is fantastic! The speeds are okay, but nothing particularly special. What is interesting is that the speed, whilst not being particularly impressive, is incredibly stable.
So, clustered hosting, has it worked? Well, possibly! It certainly has given us a fantastic amount of reliability and uptime but hasn't made much difference, it seems, when it comes to server speed.
Anti-Theft Security Evaluation
For the final test of the StableHost review, I will be attempting to steal my own hosting account without anyone noticing. In doing this, I will find out how seriously StableHost takes security.
Firstly, I tried to brute-force my way into my account by entering an incorrect password as many times as possible and as quickly as possible. A really secure system would notice that this is probably a bot trying to access an account and would throw out some extra verification steps. And StableHost?
Well, after 30 incorrect attempts, I logged in with the correct credentials and that was it. Easy as that. Not ideal by any stretch, considering there are many simple options for extra verification available.
Next up, I attempted to lure some information out of the live chat support. I told them the usual excuse ('Oh I'm so sorry, I lost access to my email inbox so I can't receive a password reset!') and hoped they would slip up.
They didn't. I was required to show proof of purchase as well as an ID verification.
In summation of this Stablehost review, I can definitely recommend StableHost as a good hosting provider. Sure, there are some quirks and things that could be better, namely the server speed and lack of live chat support, but overall they are decent.
Although the pricing on the entry levels plan is good, the Platinum plan feels horrendously overpriced for what it actually offers. I must say, however, it's fantastic that StableHost offers us the choice of 5 server locations across the globe!
What do you think? If you've used StableHost in the past or are a paying customer right now, let us know your feelings!
- Fantastic Uptime!
- Very Stable Performance
- Good Ticket Support
- Lack Of Live Chat Support
- Platinum Plan Is Overpriced