Winhost offers simple shared Windows hosting - it's an option for people that wish to have all the benefits of Windows hosting, but don't wish to empty their bank completely for it.
But is Winhost actually worth even that small price that it's asking?
In this Winhost review, I focus on checking whether moving to this provider can be the best hosting decision you'll make - or whether it is a mistake.
What is Winhost?
Winhost is a small hosting provider offering Windows hosting and managed WordPress hosting. That's a very narrow field of services, but it covers those users looking for the lesser used Windows hosting.
The company is headquartered in Sierra Madre, California. Unlike many of their bigger competitors, Winhost owns and manages all of its hardware in a local data center - it's a homegrown hosting company, if you will.
Naturally, Winhost is happy to serve customers from all around the US and surely won't have issues taking money from anyone else either. Along with the provider's focus on Windows, the offers are tailored for both - those who need a reliable ASP.NET hosting, as well as beginners who just want to host their first WordPress website.
Their primary offer consists of three different web hosting packages that differ in price and specifications. All of their servers using stable Microsoft hosting environment software – Windows 2012 and 2016, IIS 10.X and IIS 8.x, SQL 2016, 2014 and 2012, ASP.NET 4.7 and ASP.NET Core.
In this Winhost review, we'll check out its web hosting packages and see how good they are.
At first glance, the company has a very simple pricing structure – $3.95/mo for the Basic plan with 3GB disk space and 50GB bandwidth all the way to $15.95/mo for the Ultimate plan. But, as it usually happens, there is a pricing difference between various contract lengths.
You can sign up for each plan choosing one of three different contracts – a quarterly one, annual, and biennial. As might be expected, the longer your contract, the more you save. It can build up to the maximum savings of $144 between a 3-month and 2-year plan (if the former is kept active for two years, i.e. eight billing periods).
|Package||3-Mo. Plan (Total after 2 years)||1-Year Plan (Total after 2 years)||1-Year Plan Savings||2-Year Plan (Total after 2 years)||2-Year Savings vs 3-Month||2-Year Savings vs 1-Year|
The good news is, they aren’t trying to hide this pricing scheme. The information about the different monthly price for each of the plans depending on the contract length is easy to find and publicly shown on the website.
But what's included in these plans?
How does each of the plans compare to their counterparts? While the Max and Ultimate plans look very decent, the Basic plan is a lot more limited. With just one MySQL database, there is not much room for testing. Moreover, because of that, it’s impossible to host more than one WordPress site should you choose it.
|Disk Space||3 GB||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|No. of MySQL Databases||1||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|MySQL Disk Space||500 MB||2 GB||5 GB|
|Customer support||Ticket System|
|Free automated back-ups||No||No||No|
None of the plans have SSL included, and anti-malware protection also has to be purchased additionally (Winhost offers Site Lock starting from $39/yr but with Ultimate plan the 1st year is free).
Another significant drawback is the lack of free automated backups. Considering how fast things change and how much testing and editing websites require, having a backup is a must if you want to stay on the safe side.
Naturally, you can buy that feeling of security – starting at $35.40 for 10 GB of backup storage:
|10 GB Storage||$2.95||$35.40|
|30 GB Storage||$6.95||$83.40|
|60 GB Storage||$12.95||$155.40|
But there are some features that you won't have to worry about. All plans have anti-DDoS protection included and you get one-click installations of WordPress, Joomla, and other apps. Also, if you plan to migrate your already existing website, Winhost will assist for free.
And of course, 30-day money back guarantee is also here, if you change your mind after the purchase.
To my surprise, Winhost performed exceptionally well and it's worth to be graded A+. Sometimes servers that are five or more times more expensive than this Windows hosting are left way behind it in speed tests.
However, the Winhost team covers themselves up when it comes to uptimes. There's only a 99.9%, uptime guarantee, which means that statistically speaking, your server shouldn’t go down for more than one minute and 30 seconds every day. At least according to our uptime calculator.
Winhost isn't magically brilliant, nor it has any obvious problems. Despite being a Windows host, the server looks not much different than its Linux competitors. What are its strong sides?
Intuitive control panel
While it’s no cPanel (which is available exclusively on Linux and, even then, not all hosting companies offer it), Winhost control panel is easy-to-use and intuitive enough even beginners will find everything they need inside it. And, unlike some other control panels, you don’t have to pay a dime extra for it.
Let’s be honest – it’s a cheap web host. Its goal is to be affordable. This means that I did not expect it to score as high as it did in my performance test. But, it turns out that having just one local data center and actually taking care of it may pay off. A big plus for Winhost.
Straightforward pricing comparison
While Winhost varies its pricing between different contract lengths (which is one of my least favorite practices), they don’t hide this fact and even allow you to compare the monthly price before you make a purchase. Way to go!
There weren’t that many benefits that could make or break the decision about signing up. There are also not many disadvantages. Sadly, some of them could be deal breakers for potential customers.
Just one server location
Maybe I’m spoiled by all the cheap web hosting companies that have their data centers located all around the world. But, in today’s highly competitive hosting world offering just one location is simply not enough.
There are some basic features that I never like to see being offered as an upsell. One of them is paid backups. I believe that such services should be treated as core parts of every hosting offer. Especially that in this case, they are not that cheap either – $2.95 per month is more than two-thirds of the price of their cheapest hosting package.
No real-time support
No matter if it’s your first or tenth website – being able to talk to someone when you come across technical problems is a must. Whether it’s a phone or chat, nothing beats real-time contact. Unfortunately, Winhost offers ticket systems only.
Winhost Review Summary
Despite the few disadvantages, I think people at Winhost did a good job and deserve giving their product a try. I like that, even while having just one server location Winhost is doing everything to provide its users with excellent performance.
If you’d like to give this Windows hosting a test, take advantage of their 30-day money back guarantee and sign up now. But if you feel hesitant, go ahead and check out the most acknowledged Windows hosting providers.
- Straightforward pricing
- Great performance
- Intuitive control panel
- One server location
- Paid backups
- Poor support