Hostwinds is a US-based company that has been providing A+ web hosting services since 2010. Their offering includes all the main hosting packages to be found in this industry: shared, VPS, dedicated and WordPress hosting. While I’ve read and actually tested a shared plan of theirs myself, I can honestly say their signature service is VPS hosting due to many reasons as you’ll see later on in this review. Without further ado, let’s pore over the hosting plans:
Table of Content
- Hostwinds Hosting Plans
- Security Features & Uptime Performance
- Customer Support
- Money Back Guarantee
- Should You Sign Up with Hostwinds?
As I previously said, I’ve actually gotten around to subscribing to the most basic shared plan available in their offer, and I must say I am very impressed with the amount of in-the-box features. There are a total of three shared plans available, namely Basic, Advanced and Ultimate, each of them catering to different needs and preferences.
The Basic plan offers unlimited bandwidth and storage, a free dedicated IP address and the ability to host a single domain name. This plan is ideal for startup blogs and companies in need of a quick hosting solution without having to take too much money out of their pockets. It costs only $4.50 per month, with further possible discounts for long-term commitments.
The Advanced plan builds on Basic and allows you to host up to six domains. As customary, if you commit to long-term hosting periods, you can get a significant reduction off the standard $5.50 per month.
Finally, the Unlimited plan probably offers the best price/quality ratio and allows you to host an unlimited number of domain names. It costs a dollar more, amounting to a total of $6.50 only. Unless you’re really on a tight budget, I personally believe there’s no reason not to opt for this plan instead of the others, except if you want to test the waters first.
On top of all the amazing features I have covered, you must also know that all of the shared servers are Linux-based, which means you’re in for better reliability, security and performance. If you’re more into Windows-based systems, well, they won’t be able to help you.
- VPS Hosting
Those of you who would like to take it to the next level can opt for 5 different VPS hosting plans to host your medium-sized projects on: Budget, Premium, Windows, SSD Windows and SSD Linux.
Starting at only $7.50 per month, the Budget plan, as the name suggests, caters to small-to-medium-sized businesses in need of a quick and reliable platform to host their data on, but who would also like to resort to a more independent one than shared servers can provide. You’ll get 1 GB of RAM, 25 GB of disk space, unlimited monthly data transfers, unlimited email and ½ CPU core. If this is not enough, you can scale it up to $172 per month and receive 28.5 GB of RAM, 600 GB of disk space, unlimited monthly data transfers, unlimited email addresses and storage. and 8 CPU cores.
Then, they have the SSD Windows hosting solution which starts at $13.50 per month and offers 1 GB of RAM, 25 GB of disk space, unlimited monthly bandwidth, unlimited email addresses and storage and one CPU core. You can scale it up to $209 per month and receive a whopping 35 GB of RAM, 170 GB of disk space, unlimited bandwidth, email storage and addresses, and eight CPU cores.
I was also surprised to see that Hostwinds provide a Minecraft (you know, the pixel game sold to Microsoft for $1bn a few years back) hosting solution which starts at $8 per month and can host up to 10 players at once, scalable to $160 per month with a player cap of 350 people. IMHO, it is high time a web hosting provider took a proactive approach and provided a hosting solution for such a popular game.
- Dedicated Hosting
The best thing about Hostwinds’ dedicated hosting plans is that they allow you to fully customize your server to cater to your specific needs. As such, they allow you to equip your server with up to 6 TB worth of storage, 96 GB of RAM and unlimited bandwidth. Depending on what you ultimately choose, you can pay anything from $100 to $1,000 per month, so pay a lot of attention to your budget, as you can easily burn a hole through it if you’re inattentive.
- WordPress Hosting
If you’re a WordPress webmaster and would like to develop and manage your site on this platform, Hostwinds have got your back. With them, you can opt for a fully-optimized WordPress-based solution that offers all the essential tools and add-ons to get started in no time. Still, bear in mind that their WordPress-based servers are NOT managed, meaning that you won’t receive staging, page caching and other under-the-hood bonuses, so you would be better if you looked for those elsewhere. With regard to the price, it starts at only $3.50 per month and comes with many other benefits such as daily backups, unlimited bandwidth, email addresses and storage, along with unmetered disk space.
Keeping your site secure is probably among the most important steps you should approach, even prior to actually building it. In order to help you with this particular issue, Hostwinds provide, for an additional $1.50 per month, what they call the “Advanced Website Monitoring” system, which monitors your site around the clock and sends automatic help tickets on your behalf during downtime for staff to notice, so you don’t have to contact them every time should this issue arise. That’s pretty impressive for only $1.50 per month, but that’s not all – you can also opt for Whois data protection for another $5.00 per year.
With respect to the uptime performance, I was as impressed with the results I got over the course of one month. In order to conduct this test, I used a third-party app which sent each 15 minutes a ping to my website. Should it take for my website more than 1 minute to respond, I would be notified via e-mail. At some point, I even forgot I had this application running because, well, I was not notified once during the 30-day trial period. Nice!
Okay, the features, bonuses and uptime performances are indeed important, but nothing says more about a web hosting provider than its commitment to making each customer happy – and that is to be noticed via their customer support representatives. Overall, their customer support staff were very friendly and willing to help me with my issues. They did not instill me a feeling of fakeness whatsoever.
Hostwinds offer an impressive 60-day money back guarantee, which easily surpasses the standard 30 or even 15-day money back guarantee provided by many other often more popular web hosts on the market. If you do want to cancel your subscription, you’ll have to pave your way through unveiling it as it is not particularly easy to press that cancellation button, as other customers suggest.
I can vouch for Hostwinds’ services undoubtedly, but you’ll find that the lack of a WordPress-managed hosting solution is quite annoying if you’re not well versed in WordPress development. That, and also the fact their top-tier hosting solutions are a bit too expensive compared to what other hosting providers such as HostGator have got to offer. Leaving all of these rather minor disadvantages aside, you can easily make the most out of this provider to create and host a website to be liked by you and your customers alike. Good luck!
If your websites’re currently hosted at Hostwinds, please tell us your experience with Hostwinds on the comment session below. Thank you!