When WestHost was launched back in 1998, they were extremely focused with only a single objective in their mind, which was to provide a rugged, powerful, and secure web hosting environment to their customers at a price they could easily afford. Over this entire period, they have been providing rocksolid hosting services to clients across the globe. Because of their continuous efforts and dedication, they have emerged as a leader in the web hosting technology by providing hosting services backed by an exceptional customer support. The company is the recipient of many industry awards and has received plenty of positive reviews from webmasters and businesses alike.

As opposed to the bulk of other hosting companies that restrain themselves either to shared web hosting or dedicated server hosting, WestHost has aimed to address the needs of a broad range of customers and has successfully achieved that without compromising quality. Usually, if a company offers a diverse range of services, it compromises its quality on the cheaper hosting options in an effort to retain the customers of more expensive services. However, this is not the case with the reviewed host and no matter what level of hosting you need, you can rest assured that you will get what they say on the box. The different levels of services offered by the company include shared hosting solutions, dedicated server solutions, managed server solutions, cloud hosting solutions, as well as reseller hosting. Apart from the hosting services, they also offer domain name registration service, e-commerce tools, web design services, and merchant account solutions.

Just like midphase and AN Hosting that have been reviewed at WHL, the reviewed host is also part of the UK2Group. The UK2Group began operating in 1998 as UK2.net, which was the brand that they started with. Recently, the UK2Group has acquired plenty of other hosting brands including Midphase, 10TB, ANHosting, Autica, Resell.biz, WingSix, Dotable, Virtual Internet, and VPS.NET. WestHost is always concerned about fulfilling the needs of its customers to the fullest. They are aware of the global downturn in economy and are consistently working on reducing their operating costs while maintaining a solid infrastructure. This is bound to give their customers a secure hosting environment which is backed by redundant connections and a 24-hour support staff that is second to none.

 

Disclaimer: The editorial review of WestHost may not be reflective of its current ranking on WHL. The quality of the host may have improved or deteriorated since it was reviewed. To find out the latest user ratings and reviews, please read WestHost user ratings and reviews

 

The Westhost Difference!

WestHost is quite confident that there are plenty of reasons for prospective customers to prefer them over other hosting companies. Some of the reasons that have convinced them that they can provide a level of service second to none are as follows:

 

Highly Affordable Prices

The company offers incredibly value added features without charging you extra money. they hate to consider these value added features as add-ons that are often sold for an additional cost by the other hosting companies. They are also aware that there may be circumstances in which some other deal may seem to be attractive to you, however they are quite confident that the "cheap web hosting deal" will become a constant nuisance for you in the time to come.

Local Customer Service

WestHost wants you to recognize the most important thing in an information technology product such as web hosting. That most important thing is the customer support that is available to you. You know that whenever you encounter any issue, the customer support department must come to your rescue immediately to save you from loss of traffic, reputation, and revenue. And you want that support to be available around the clock 365 days a year. Instead of outsourcing its customer support department, the company has maintained a body of talented professional staff in the United States that is always there to lend you help in the hour of need in a friendly environment.

Money-Back Guarantee

The company wants you, their potential customer, to put them to the test. In order to ensure that you get enough time for this trial, they offer a 60 day money back guarantee. In the unlikely scenario in which you're not completely satisfied with their service, you can get a full refund within 60 days. And the best part is, unlike other hosting companies, you don't need to assign any reason. All you need to do is to say "I need a refund" and you will get your money back. The reason for this long moneyback period rests in their confidence that you won't find a better value in web hosting.

Your Satisfaction Is Guaranteed

WestHost want themselves to be set apart from the rest of the crowd, consequently they believe that you're not just a hosting customer, instead the moment you sign up with them you become their business partner. And they know how important it is that your business thrives in order for them to stay in business. If your business suffers because of them, they know that you will switch to some other company which will result in loss of business for them. As a result, they are committed to working with you hand-in-hand to ensure that you would never even think of switching to some other company.

Dependable Body of Experts

The company is very picky about choosing their employees. So when they are recruiting new staff, they make sure that they will add to the strength of their web hosting business. They ascertain this by finding out how passionate a prospective employee is about delivering quality service to customers, along with his/her level of knowledge about hosting technologies. This results in satisfied and loyal customers.

A Well-Established Company

Being in business for more than 10 years, WestHost has seen the thick and thin of web hosting. during this entire period, they have expanded their services exponentially and have become extremely profitable and financially sound. Consequently you can count on their experience to have the peace of mind that your business is in safe hands.

Unmatched Uptime

The company is well aware of the importance of the equipment and infrastructure in a demanding IT service such as web hosting. As a result, they are very cautious in selecting the data center where your website will reside. In order to give their customers unmatched uptime and a level of security that only gigantic enterprises can afford, they host your data at a Tier-3 data center.

Declared Most Reliable by Netcraft

In order to determine the reliability of the top hosting companies in present-day's competitive environment, Netcraft has lately become the benchmark that is believed by many to be the authoritative resource for measuring a hosting company's reliability. From 2006 to 2009, WestHost has made into the top 10 ranks of Netcraft for four years in a row.

Accredited by BBB

The Better Business Bureau of Utah, of which the reviewed host is a member, has given an A+ rating to the company on account of its reliable infrastructure and exceptional customer support.

CNET Certified

CNET has confirmed the 99.9% uptime and data transfer speed of WestHost. They have ranked number 1 for more than a year and a half in terms of reliability and uptime as measured by CNET's third party monitoring system. This was contested by thousands of other web hosting companies. Furthermore, CNET users also rate them 5 out of 5 in terms of Value, Quality and Features.

 

Website Administration - Control Panel

CPanel has earned the recognition of an industry-leading control panel. Managing your hosting account with CPanel is extremely simple because of its friendly graphical user interface and repositionable menus. The help system of CPanel has also won numerous accolades and awards. It not only provides on-screen help but also gives the user access to a broad variety of video tutorials. The good thing is that the video tutorials are not outside the user interface but instead are tightly integrated into it. The control panel is also equipped with error detection features that enable it to restart the service automatically resulting in an increased level of reliability. Furthermore, CPanel boasts built in virus protection, root kit detection, as well as plenty of other tools that can be used to secure your own server.

WestHost has gone one step further in an effort to provide its customers with an unmatched level of administration. Instead of simply offering the CPanel control panel, it offers an enhanced client console that integrates all the popular features of cPanel. The control panel is included for free in all Linux web hosting plans. This customized version of CPanel makes management of your hosting account a breeze. If you want to order new services, you are just one click away. Adding a new domain name to your pool of services, viewing invoices, updating account information, creating support tickets and replying to the support staff, you name it and the feature is there in this customized version of CPanel offered by the company. In case you do not have any previous web design experience, you can use their fully integrated site builder to develop a website from scratch. If you want to take advantage of the open source content management systems such as Joomla!, Drupal, WordPress etc to develop an online presence, you can use their built-in one click installer to get the job done. In the absence of a one click installer, manually installing these content management systems is quite a headache and requires plenty of steps.

 

Packages Offered

The company offers Linux-based Shared Hosting, VPS Cloud Hosting, Dedicated Hosting, and Reseller Hosting plans.

 

Shared Hosting

WestHost Shared Hosting plans include Personal, Preferred, and Business plans. Features list for their Preferred plan is as follows.

 

Package Summary
Disk Space 200 GB
Bandwidth 2500 GB
Free Domain Yes
Hosted Domains Unlimited
Email Accounts Unlimited
Emails per hour 1000
MySQL Databases Unlimited
Subdomains Unlimited
E-commerce Enabled Yes
FTP Accounts Unlimited
Money Back Guarantee 60 Days
Purchase Price (1 Year Sign up) $11 /month!
Free Setup Yes

 

VPS Cloud Hosting

WestHost VPS Cloud Hosting packages include Burst, Storm, and Monsoon. The feature list for their entry level plan Burst is as follows.

 

Package Summary
Dedicated CPU 1.2 GHz
Storage Space 20 GB
Memory 752 MB
Bandwidth 500 GB
Emails per hour Unlimited
Network Speed 1000 Mbit
Free Snapshot Backups Yes
Free SSL Certificate Yes
Free Domain Yes
Dedicated IP Yes
24/7 Managed Support Yes
Free CPanel License Yes
Free Setup Yes ($20 value)
Purchase Price $50 /month!

 

Dedicated Server Hosting

WestHost offers both Unmanaged and Managed Dedicated Server hosting. The names of the plans in both these categories are ATOM D510, QUAD XEON (SANDY BRIDGE) E3-1220, QUAD XEON E5620, and DUAL QUAD XEON E5620. The main feature list for both Unmanaged and Managed Dedicated Servers is more or less the same with the difference in price only. The entry level plan is as follows:

 

Package Summary
Processor 1x Intel ATOM D510 1.66GHz
Hard Drive 1x Seagate Barracuda ES.2 500GB 32MB Cache
Memory 2GB DDR2 - PC2 6400 ECC
Bandwidth 10 TB
IP Addresses 4
Port Speed 100 Mbps
RAID Not capable
Integrated IPMI 2.0 with KVM Yes
Comodo SSLs 4
Free Domain Name Yes
Free stuff Google /Yahoo! credits ($100 value)
Free Setup Yes ($200 value)
Purchase Price Not managed ($50 /month!), Managed ($195 /month!)

 

Reseller Hosting

WestHost Reseller Hosting plans include Reseller Basic, Reseller Plus, and Reseller Pro. The main features for the Reseller Basic plan are as follows.

 

Package Summary
Dedicated CPU 1.2 GHz
Storage Space 20 GB
Memory 752 MB
Bandwidth 500 GB
Emails per hour Unlimited
Network Speed 1000 Mbit
Free Snapshot Backups Yes
Free SSL Certificates 3
Free Domain Yes
Dedicated IPs 3
24/7 Managed Support Yes
Resold Accounts Unlimited
Free Setup Yes ($20 value)
Purchase Price $50 /month!

  

Features vs. Cost Analysis

The features versus cost analysis of the company will be done for its shared web hosting plans only. Their entry level Personal web hosting plan is available for only $6 a month on an annual billing cycle. However, the limitations include the ability to host a single website only, plus a single MySQL database. Consequently, the plan is suitable only for personal websites (as the name indicates) and would not be an attractive choice for webmasters who are seeking multiple databases and the ability to host multiple domains. The Preferred plan however offers unlimited hosted domains and MySQL databases as well as unlimited subdomains. The plan is available for $11 per month on an annual billing cycle and is obviously a bit expensive as compared to the other hosting companies. However, a 3-year billing cycle reduces the cost of this plan to $8 per month, which then brings it in line with the other comparable web hosts. The Preferred plan also offers unlimited Autoresponders, unlimited FTP accounts, enterprise-class webmail, a DNS Zone Editor, IP Banning Access, SSH Access, Continuous Data Protection (CDP) and a whole lot more. So the bottom line is, if you sign up for a 3-year period, you can benefit immensely from this feature-rich plan backed by WestHost's top notch customer support at around the same price that you would pay any other company.

 

Customer Support Channels

As already mentioned, in an information technology service such as web hosting, the importance of customer service cannot be overemphasized. WestHost knows what its customers are seeking, i.e. a prompt quality customer support department is always there to handle their queries in the most receptive manner. If a script stops working on your website or if there is any other server error, you want to fix it as soon as possible before it leaves a bad impression on your visitors. In order to ensure the speed of response, the company has maintained an in-house US-based support Department that is always there to assist their customers in a polite and informative way. They know how detrimental it can be to their business if they outsource their customer support to some cheap company overseas. Furthermore, they are also aware of another drawback of outsourcing, which is the inability of the support staff to respond in proficient English.

The response time of their customer support Department has been reported as industry-leading and more than 95% of their clients rate the quality of their support as excellent or good. The company strongly believes that the sun never sets on their business, which means that it does not matter to them whether it's night or day and they are always prepared to serve their customers to the fullest. Their support department can be contacted by phone, live chat as well as email. They maintain a toll-free telephone number 1.800.222.2165. They also keep posting the average support response time on their website. For example, the support stats (average response time) for the month of August 2011 are reported on their website as Chat (26 sec), Phone (2 mins, 21 sec), and Ticket-based email (3 mins, 23 sec).

 

Speed & Reliability

WestHost understands that the quality of the web hosting service they provide to the end user is directly related to the equipment working behind it and the infrastructure supporting it. For this reason, when they were planning to select a data center for housing their future customer's data, they were extremely cautious and were seeking many sound attributes before making a final decision. Finally, they came up with a location that was disaster safe and built their data center roughly 30 min. to the south of Salt Lake City Utah. The data center is tier 3 and offers the kind of reliability that only corporate organizations can afford. The data center has multiple network carriers providing unsurpassed reliability and performance. This gives their customers the peace of mind that their data is being given the utmost protection possible and will be available to their visitors at blazing speed.

Furthermore, they deploy state-of-the-art technologies in their hosting infrastructure and because of this, they have been consistently rated as one of the most reliable web host in the world. Because of being able to do maintenance alongside the provision of services, the company is able to avoid the routine maintenance that is required in the form of annual shutdowns. Websites that utilize tier 3 data centers are known to have an uptime greater than 99.98% and this is what the customers of the reviewed host can expect as well. This high uptime is attributed mainly to the abundant redundancy, scalability, and security present in a tier 3 data center. Apart from the digital video surveillance present in the system, the site is monitored by technical personnel 24 hours a day. 

 

Conclusion

Despite being loaded with tons of features, the unlimited web hosting plan "Preferred" offered by WestHost seems to be a bit expensive at first sight as compared with other companies. However, if you sign up for a 3 years billing cycle, the cost is reduced dramatically to only $8 per month. The uptime, loading speed, and customer support at the company is beyond doubt as certified by the numerous awards the company has won and the positive reviews received from happy customers. The editor therefore recommends that you give the company a try. And of course, if you turn out to be one of those rare unhappy customers, their 60 day money back guarantee is more than enough to give you the peace of mind that you will get a refund. Sign up today!

 


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