Hostwinds, a web hosting provider based in the US, may not be in the limelight, but it boasts over a decade of experience. Let’s Dive into a detailed Hostwinds review, It’s Offering a wide range of hosting solutions, including shared, business, reseller, managed, and unmanaged VPS, Hostwinds has got you covered.
Born out of frustration with existing options in the market, Hostwinds believes that small-to-medium businesses deserve top-notch solutions and support at affordable prices.
Numerous positive customer reviews testify to Hostwinds’ success in delivering on its promises. Customers rave about its abundant resources, user-friendly interface, and excellent support.
To put these claims to the test, I decided to purchase a plan from Hostwinds and see if it lives up to its reputation.
Now, it’s time to dive in and see what Hostwinds offers.
Table of Contents
Hostwinds Review General Info & Hosting Overview:
|⭐ Rating:||4.0 ★★★★|
|💲 Price:||Prices start at $5.24/month|
|🏘️ Hosting types:||Shared, VPS, cloud, and dedicated|
|🌎 Server locations:||US (Seattle and Dallas) and EU (Amsterdam)|
|👨💻 Support:||Live chat, ticketing, and email|
Pros & Cons Of Hostwinds
| Budget-friendly plans from $5.24/mo.|
Very generous with unlimited resources.
Intuitive dashboard with the latest cPanel integration.
| Short refund period of only 72 hours.|
Like other providers, Hostwinds‘ most popular solution is shared hosting, starting at $5.24 per month, and it goes beyond that by offering various other hosting packages like VPS, cloud, and dedicated hosting.
|Hosting type||Best for|
|Shared Hosting||Ideal for beginners, smaller websites (such as blogs, portfolios, and passion projects), and those seeking simplicity and user-friendliness.|
|VPS Hosting||Suitable for mid-sized websites and individuals who desire advanced options offering enhanced control, abundant resources, and optimal performance.|
|Cloud Hosting||Perfect for anyone in need of flexibility, scalability, superior performance, and heightened security measures.|
|Reseller Hosting||It is an excellent choice for agencies or freelance designers aiming to offer their clients hosting services or pre-designed websites.|
|Dedicated Hosting||Tailored for high-traffic websites, large online stores, organizations, and users requiring a private server’s power and dedicated resources.|
While not the most affordable hosting provider, Hostwinds offers reasonably competitive prices.
In this Hostwinds review, I will focus on their highly sought-after option: shared hosting.
You can enjoy even lower prices if you commit to longer subscriptions. The prices mentioned above are for a 12-month billing cycle. However, opting for the longest term of 36 months can significantly reduce the monthly rates.
Surprisingly, Hostwinds doesn’t prominently display the discounted prices on the product page or clearly indicate the availability of different billing terms. Instead, this information is only accessible on the checkout page.
Setting aside the marketing faux pas, I’m impressed with what Hostwinds offers. All three plans come equipped with cPanel, the Weebly site builder, free SSL, a dedicated IP address, unlimited disk space and bandwidth, and unlimited email accounts.
The only difference among the plans lies in the varying number of domains they support:
- Basic – 1 domain.
- Advanced – 4 domains.
- Ultimate – unlimited domains.
Hostwinds provides remarkably generous resources, especially considering the incredibly affordable prices. This simplicity makes the decision-making process much easier: select a plan based on the number of websites you need to host.
I recommend closely examining the Advanced plan for those seeking flexibility in their hosting solution. By selecting the 12-month billing cycle, you can enjoy a monthly rate of $6.74/mo. Alternatively, you can opt for a 24- or 36-month subscription to secure the lowest prices.
Let’s discuss a few important details about Hostwinds‘ payment and billing policies. Firstly, you can pay for your plan using cryptocurrency. Since 2017, Hostwinds has accepted over a dozen coins, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin.
However, it’s important to know that Hostwinds offers a 72-hour money-back guarantee specifically for hosting services. Outside of hosting, they provide account credit instead. So, if you prefer a safer option, choose Hostwinds’ 1-month subscription.
Another point to remember is that your plan will renew at a slightly higher price. For example, while the Basic plan currently costs $3.74 per month, it will increase to $4.99 per month upon renewal. However, it’s worth noting that Hostwinds’ renewal rate is lower than other providers.
Considering everything, Hostwinds is an excellent choice if you desire more value for your money. The provider offers remarkable generosity regarding resources like storage and bandwidth, all at affordable prices.
Hosting management: is it easy to use?
Regarding management, Hostwinds offers a custom dashboard seamlessly integrated with cPanel. The interfaces are thoughtfully organized, making them user-friendly for beginners. Most importantly, they provide extensive tools and features necessary for running your website.
Once you log in, you’ll be greeted by Hostwinds‘ distinctive custom dashboard. Here’s a glimpse of what it looks like:
As you can see, Hostwinds‘ native dashboard boasts a clean and organized layout. Even if you’re a newcomer to web hosting, navigating the interface should be a breeze. You’ll quickly find the features you need for account and service management, including billing, support, and domain management.
For more advanced functionalities, you’ll head over to cPanel. Here, you can use the Softaculous one-click installer to effortlessly install WordPress, set up email addresses, add subdomains, access the file manager and databases, and much more.
However, be prepared for a pleasant surprise when you access cPanel. Hostwinds utilizes the latest version of cPanel, which features Glass as its default style. While it may differ from what you’re accustomed to, it offers a sleek and modern interface.
Thanks to the makeover, cPanel now sports a cleaner and fresher appearance while preserving its familiar appeal and offering the same advanced tools. The interface could be clearer and free from distracting icons, making it effortless for newcomers and experienced users to navigate easily.
With its straightforward and intuitive design, comprehensive tools, and essential features, the combination of Hostwinds‘ custom dashboard and cPanel is a surefire win. Rest assured, a good user experience is guaranteed.
Performance: are Hostwinds fast?
In terms of performance, Hostwinds falls in the middle of the road. While it may not be the provider’s strongest aspect, it showcases commendable website loading speed. However, there is room for improvement in uptime, response time, and handling high traffic volumes.
Hostwinds uptime and response time
During the nearly two weeks of monitoring, I observed a solitary outage with Hostwinds, albeit a significant one. My website experienced downtime for approximately 19 minutes, resulting in an overall uptime of 99.89%.
Although this is not the most unfavorable outcome I’ve encountered, it raises some concern as Hostwinds does not guarantee an official uptime. Consequently, your site could experience more prolonged periods of downtime.
Now, let’s discuss the average response time for Hostwinds, which averaged 945ms. This result could be a better mark, especially considering the shared hosting market’s average response time is around 600ms.
To summarize, Hostwinds raises some concerns regarding uptime and response time. While the provider displayed a reasonably acceptable uptime, the response time was left to be desired.
Hostwinds web hosting speed test
I assessed Hostwinds‘ performance with an empty WordPress site to kick off the speed test. My primary objective was to observe if the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) would be below 600ms, indicating exceptional speed.
The results revealed that Hostwinds’ empty site recorded an LCP of 665ms, slightly exceeding the 600ms threshold. While Hostwinds may not claim the title of the fastest web host available, it still outperforms the average speed norm by a significant margin.
Moving forward, I conducted tests on a fully developed WordPress site, and this time the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) registered at 1.5 seconds. I am pleased to acknowledge that this falls well within the acceptable range, as Google approves anything up to 2.5 seconds.
However, it’s important to remember that if your website primarily caters to a diverse international audience, you may experience slower performance. Hostwinds operates solely from 3 data centers: two located in the United States (Seattle and Dallas) and one in the Netherlands (Amsterdam). Selecting the data center closest to your target audience is advisable to achieve optimal results.
Hostwinds stress test
For my final test, I conducted a stress test to gauge the capacity of Hostwinds to handle increased traffic. By simulating a higher number of virtual visitors (VUs), I aimed to assess its performance under demanding circumstances.
To begin, I initiated the test with 50VUs. It’s worth noting that 50 visitors generate significant traffic, which can challenge many shared hosting providers. Such intense traffic has the potential to overwhelm a server, and unfortunately, Hostwinds did not prove to be an exception in this case.
It became evident that 50 VUs posed a significant challenge for Hostwinds. While the speed remained relatively satisfactory, the high failure rate was alarming, accounting for nearly 97% of all requests sent.
In an ideal scenario, one would aim for a flat blue line representing response time as the gray line indicating the number of visitors increases. Additionally, it is crucial for the red line, meaning failed requests, to remain at zero.
To find a more manageable workload, I gradually reduced the number of VUs by 5 during subsequent attempts. The first adjustment was made with 10VUs, which improved speed. However, it was clear that striking the right balance between traffic and performance was essential.
This situation could be better, but let’s consider it. Even with 10VUs, we’re still talking about thousands of monthly visitors, which is significant for a shared hosting environment. It’s worth noting that these tests were conducted on Hostwinds’ most affordable plan, which explicitly targets smaller sites.
Considering everything, Hostwinds web hosting would benefit from some performance enhancements. While there are no complaints regarding website loading speed, the server’s responsiveness could be improved. Additionally, an uptime guarantee would instill greater trust in the service.
Security: Are Hostwinds secure?
When it comes to security, Hostwinds falls slightly behind in comparison. The provider offers limited features, providing only an SSL certificate and malware scanning. However, if you’re willing to invest, you can purchase additional services, such as paid 24/7 monitoring and nightly backups.
Let’s zoom in on the details:
- SSL certificates: Hostwinds goes the extra mile by automatically enabling a free AutoSSL for all shared hosting plans. This is the minimum you should expect from your provider, as it ensures an encrypted connection between your site and visitors, fostering a secure browsing experience.
- Malware scanning: While Hostwinds’ malware scanning isn’t automatic, you can submit a ticket, and the administrators will conduct the scan for you, free of charge. Although an automated scanning system would be more convenient, the fact that they offer this service and perform it upon request is highly appreciated and beneficial for the overall health of your website.
This is where Hostwinds’ complimentary security measures reach their limit. However, you have the option to enhance your security with a few paid additions:
- Monitoring: By investing an additional $24 per year, the Hostwinds team will continuously monitor your site, ensuring that any threats are promptly addressed. In the event of an issue, a support ticket is automatically generated to deploy support engineers for assistance. This service also includes immediate alerts and detailed reports to keep you informed.
- Backups: For an extra $36.00 per year, Hostwinds takes care of your data by performing automatic backups and transferring them to a cloud storage drive every night, providing an added layer of protection for your valuable information.
All things considered, Hostwinds may not be the most secure web host available, but its existing security features are reasonably adequate. However, it would have been greatly appreciated if they had included DDoS protection and a firewall as part of their offerings.
Will Hostwinds support help me?
You can contact Hostwinds‘ support team through various channels, including live chat, ticketing, and email. Additionally, the provider offers an extensive knowledge base with guides and tutorials to assist you.
During my interactions via live chat, I had nothing but positive experiences. The support agents were prompt, knowledgeable, and displayed a high level of professionalism. They efficiently addressed my inquiries and effectively solved any issues I encountered. The customer service at Hostwinds is genuinely excellent.
In addition to their exceptional support, Hostwinds boasts an extensive knowledge base with many resources, such as product documentation, informative blogs, and helpful tutorials. Hundreds of articles cover various topics, including billing information and VPN instructions.
The articles are well-written and helpful, while the tutorials offer step-by-step guides with pictures for faster issue resolution.
Hostwinds‘ support is efficient, eager, and swift, deserving a 5-star rating. And let’s remember the massive knowledge base, which is a definite pull for users.
Hostwinds review: final recommendations
Overall, this Hostwinds review concludes that a provider is a viable option for many users. While there are areas for improvement, the pros outweigh the cons.
Here’s the final verdict on its performance:
|Features||4.0★★★★☆||Affordable and easy-to-manage hosting provider|
|Pricing||★★★★☆||Hostwinds offers highly affordable plans starting from $5.24/mo and provides generous resource allocations.|
|Ease of Use||★★★★★||The custom dashboard with integrated cPanel makes site management a breeze.|
|Performance||★★★☆☆||While lacking an uptime guarantee and lower response time, Hostwinds excels in website loading speed.|
|Security||★★★☆☆||Free SSL certificate and malware scanning are included, with optional paid add-ons for backups and monitoring.|
|Support||★★★★★||With knowledgeable and prompt agents, customer support is available via live chat, email, and ticketing. A comprehensive knowledge base is also provided.|
Hostwinds web hosting offers budget-friendly solutions, making it an excellent choice for those looking for affordability. Thanks to its ample resources, responsive support, and user-friendly interface, it caters well to beginners, hobbyists, and individuals building simple websites.
Where is Hostwinds located?
Hostwinds‘ headquarters are outside Seattle, Washington, USA, at Tukwila International Blvd.
How good are Hostwinds?
Hostwinds is an excellent choice for those seeking value for their money and simplicity. It offers budget-friendly plans while providing ample resources and user-friendly features.
Who owns Hostwinds?
Hostwinds is owned by Peter Holden, who has a background in development, as stated on the company’s website.
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