Founded in 1998, Utah-based WestHost is a web hosting provider that is part of the UK2 Group.
Which means that they're working in a big family of providers, including Midphase and VPS.net. And in this group, WestHost seems to have a very clear emphasis on excellent customer support and solid, low-cost services.
Does WestHost stay true to its claims?
I unravel all in my WestHost review.
Leaving A Good First Impression
When I found myself on the WestHost website, my first reaction was a positive one.
The website is presented in a clear fashion with great design appeal. Everything is easy to navigate and it takes a matter of seconds to find what you're looking for.
I was also interested to see that WestHost offers a guarantee for 99.9% uptime.
The next thing that caught my eye was that there is a 75% sale on WestHost's shared hosting services.I proceeded to dig deeper and found that the discounted price is only for the first year.
After that, it reverts to full price.
However, I'm still a fan of this. It gives it a chance to prove itself to you. If after a year you're not over the moon with the service you received, you can decide not to renew your plan with WestHost and shop elsewhere instead.
So far, so good.
But, what have longtime customers of WestHost got to say about it?
WestHost Reviews from Longtime Customers
There were some that were very positive, some not so much - like the one in the picture right here.
However, I picked up a pattern.
It seems the support offered is good and highly responsive but several users have also mentioned issues with uptime.
With the websites reportedly going down for a couple hours on some months, that would bring WestHost's uptime to only around 99.7%.
Whether or not that's a significant issue for you entirely depends on your individual needs. If a page being down from time to time is a problem for you, maybe WestHost won't be a perfect option.
But if your main concern is the pricing, well - the next part of this WestHost review is for you.
I'll now see if WestHost can pick up some points in the pricing department.
Now, I would usually say that $8.00 per month for just 50GB disk space and 1000GB bandwidth is overpriced, but things are a little different with WestHost. Seeing as you're offered the first year at just $1.99 per month and you get a 30-day money-back guarantee, you have little to lose.
Or so it may seem...
As I then discovered a risk.
You cannot pay monthly. Instead, you must pay annually.
You can also pay quarterly but you won't receive a discount. So, the risk is that you may find some issues after your 30-day refund policy expires and you will have paid for an entire year.
|Personal ($8/month)||Preferred ($13/month)||Business ($16/month)|
|No. of Domains||1||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Free Domain Included||No||Yes||Yes|
|Free SSL Included||No||No||Yes|
|SSD or HDD Used in Servers||HDD||HDD||HDD|
|Money-Back Guarantee||30-Day Period||30-Day Period||30-Day Period|
|Customer Support||24/7 Phone, Chat or Mail||24/7 Phone, Chat or Mail||24/7 Phone, Chat or Mail|
As you can see, the primary difference between the three plans is the disk space, bandwidth, and additional freebies. With the Preferred plan, you get a free domain, while in the Business plan you also get an SSL certificate thrown in.
Either way, I can't justify forking out the full price of any of these plans. Especially as you cannot pay monthly.
The deal is good if you're paying the discount rates, but pretty bad once the renewal prices kick in.
To trial WestHost on one more factor, I ran a Bitcatcha test on its response times.
The results were neither amazing nor disappointing.
While performance in the U.S. and other western countries were great, the speeds in Asia let WestHost down.
Overall, WestHost performance is a picture perfect example of "average".
WestHost Review Round-Up
The moral of the story: don't judge a book by its cover.
Although WestHost's website looked welcoming and was a pleasure to use, it's pricing certainly wasn't. The customer support sure is great but that doesn't justify the prices on offer. For those reasons, I cannot recommend WestHost as a viable shared hosting provider. You can find better value elsewhere.
Hopefully, WestHost can lower its prices in the future but at this time I can't give this company a good evaluation. If you are looking for cheaper and altogether better providers, you should look elsewhere.
- Great tech support
- Free domain with Preferred & Business packages
- No monthly payment option
- High prices