Before you can hope to become a dot com mogul like John Chow, you need to get the basics. You need to lay down a good foundation and one of the areas that you’ll want to research is finding the right hosting plan. While this blog is hosted by a competitor, I can see a few advantages that Westhost — the subject of this ReviewMe request — has over many other web hosting companies. Let’s have a look at what they’re all about.
What is Westhost?
Westhost prides itself in providing “reliable and affordable web hosting.” As you can see through their plan comparison chart below, they’ve got a variety of plans that will suit just about any set of needs. They’ve got the Personal Basic that goes for a mere $3.95 a month, right up to the Business Pro which goes for $24.95 a month. It gets even higher than that when you look at things like dedicated servers and managed hosting.
You’ll notice that with the two cheapest plans, you can only host one website. If you bump up a little higher, you can host more. For example, the $9.95 Personal Value plan gives you space for three sites, whereas the Business Pro plan grants you unlimited websites. They’ll just have to share resources.
Regarding the company itself, the email sent to John reads as thus:
We are privately held, and we’ve been in business for 9 years. We offer 24/7 in house support and provide services in domain registration, Web hosting, dedicated server hosting, reseller hosting, and Web design.
For more on Westhost, you can check out their video tour.
Virtual Private Servers For Everyone
Also known as a Virtual Dedicated Server (VDS), a virtual private server grants users several advantages over the typical shared hosting plan that most smaller blogs have. With traditional shared hosting, your website is hosted on the same server as several other websites and you share applications, servers, and other resources. If you get stuck on a server with sites that suck up heavy bandwidth, for example, the performance of your site will suffer.
With Westhost, all plans come with a virtual private server. This means that you get a dedicated “chunk” out of a larger server, but you have most of the functionality of a true dedicated server. According to Westhost, advantages include a dedicated web server, dedicated mail server, an independent secure environment, and “root-like” administrative control.
This comes at about the same price as most other shared hosting plans. This VPS web hosting provides extra value for the same amount of money.
Managed Dedicated Servers for Big Boys
The above plans for just fine for personal blogs and other small websites, but when you’re generating the level of traffic of a bigger site, you also need a bigger hosting plan. You’ll also want “greater reliability, performance, and security.” For that, Westhost features managed dedicated server hosting starting at $159.95 a month. This gives you a fully managed server hosting services, as well as the aforementioned Virtual Private Server (VPS) technology.
Depending on the plan, there may be a setup fee involved. Plan 1, Plan 2, and Plan 3 have setup fees of $49.95, $0, and $99.95, respectively. These appear to be sale prices, with the regular setup fee clocking in at $199.95.
Reliability is Most Important
Having a huge list of features is great and all, but they’re all useless if the server doesn’t have decent reliability. After all, what’s the point of a virtual private server when the bloody thing is down all the time? For that, Westhost claims that their reliability is “first rate” and that they’ve had “numerous placements in Netcraft’s top 10 monthly uptime list.” You can check out Westhost’s Netcraft stats for yourself.
A Solid Hosting Option
If you’re looking for a solid web hosting solution, Westhost seems to be a reputable and reliable company to consider. The virtual private server technology is a definite plus and their pricing appears to be within the competitive range. One feature that I would like to see is the ability to host multiple websites even on the cheapest plan. I know of a certain furry web host that allows that.