Building a website is serious business these days. After all, it serves as the “face” of your online business. It’s what your customers, prospects, and visitors see when they type in your domain name. Whether you’re new to creating a site or you’re a professional web developer/designer, you need a reliable web hosting provider that will provide you everything you need, at a price that won’t break the bank.
One web host that’s worth your attention is HostWay. It has gained traction in recent years as a trusted web host, especially among individuals and small business owners looking for cheap and reliable web hosting packages. It offers a ton of useful features and services that allow you to easily set up your own eCommerce store or any other type of website. Their hosting plans are scalable as well, so there’s plenty of room to grow your online business.
In this in-depth HostWay web hosting review, we’re going to explore the various web hosting solutions offered by this company and whether or not they do offer affordable hosting solutins for every stage of your business. So before you decide to sign up with them, make sure to read this review first. As they say, “It’s better safe than sorry”!
HostWay Web Hosting: What’s Their Story?
HostWay has been in the web hosting business since the year 1998. That’s right, they’ve been around long before many other big names like BlueHost, iPage, eHost, and HostGator came into the picture. They’ve been features on various media like the LA Times, CNNMoney, and Fox Business, so a lot of web masters should be able to recognize them.
They have offices that are based out of the US, Canada, Australia, Germany, Holland, and even in India and Korea. While they have more locations than most other web hosts, they aren’t exactly the largest web hosting company in the market. At the time of writing, HostWay has over 600,000 clients worldwide and have registered more than 400,000 unique domains.
Besides hosting and domain registration, HostWay also offer eCommerce solutions, web design services, and a number of digital marketing services. It’s a well-rounded hosting company that offers reliable services to clients of all levels. Some of HostWay’s clients include Coca Cola, Disney, and McGraw Hill, just to name a few.
HostWay Web Hosting Plans
HostWay offers many web hosting options, with prices that vary depending on the size and features you need. They claim to provide both reliability and affordability in all their hosting packages. With their hosting plans, you can create any type of website, from a simple informational or eCommerce site, to dev/test environments with highly technical requirements. As of 2016, HostWay offer different hosting solutions including shared, cloud, managed, and dedicated hosting plans.
For beginners and entrepreneurs with limited technical expertise, HostWay offer several shared web hosting packages. They have 3 different plans: Website Starter ($6.95/month), FlexCloud Site ($12.95/month), and FlexCloud Site Pro ($29.95/month). All of these hosting plans come packed with unlimited bandwidth. The main difference lies in the amount of disk space and the number of domains that you can host on a single account.
The Website Starter plan is suited for those who have no prior experience with coding or programming, and want a basic site with easy-to-use tools to help them build and grow their web presence. From $6.95 per month, you’ll get a reliable hosting platform that can handle traffic spikes. HostWay has also included a handy WYSIWYG Website Builder that includes pre-made design templates so you can build professional-looking sites in just a matter of minutes. You can even optimize your website for mobile viewers with the help of the Website Extender, which comes packed with the Website Starter plan. And if you want to keep track of your site’s visitors, HostWay also provides website analytics tools that provide tracking reports so you can learn more about your site visitors. Neat!
Meanwhile, for power-hungry developers and IT professionals who prefer a more hands-on approach to website-building, HostWay offer cloud web hosting, powered by FlexCloud. With a FlexCloud plan, you can reap the benefits of a whole plethora of customization options, with plenty of storage space to get your site up and running.
With cloud hosting, there’s plenty of room to grow your online business since it allows you to consume more resources as needed. This lets you stay on the same plan without worrying about exceeding your maximum resources for small traffic and data fluctuations. Additionally, cloud hosting is more reliable and easily manageable compared to standard web hosting. So even if you have little to no technical knowledge, you can easily set up a website with HostWay’s user-friendly portal and tools. What’s more, you have the option to build your site not just on the Linux platform, but also on the Windows OS. It even support multiple programming languages, so you’ll have no problem building your site at all.
You can choose between 2 FlexCloud plans: FlexCloud Site and FlexCloud Site Pro. FlexCloud Site is perfect for businesses with technical experience, and require robust features and the ability to control the management and development aspects of their site. With this plan, you can build your online business the way you want. Starting at $12.95 per month, you can get ample disk space so you’ll never have to worry about storage. You can also store and manage information with MySQL or MS SQL database (whether you choose Linux or Windows). You can even upload and manage files remotely via SSH or FTP, as well as code using your favorite scripting language. And with the built-in Easy Scripts apps installer, you can easily add applications and scripts with a few simple clicks!
For those who require more disk space, multiple domains, or specialized technical support, you can opt to upgrade your plan to FlexCloud Site Pro, which is especially designed to provide functional and flexible web hosting for those who manage multiple domains, sites, and web apps. With this plan, you’ll get all the features and benefits of the FlexCloud Site plan, plus store even more with increased disk space and the number of add-on sites. You’ll also get a higher level of security with a dedicated SSL certificate, and you can even promote your business with free marketing tools.
Want to go straight to the front of the queue? With the FlexCloud Site Pro plan, you’ll get your very own 24/7 VIP Support. With it, you’ll get the support you need to keep your site up and running at all times.
Not sure which plan to choose? Below is a plans and pricing comparison chart for HostWay’s shared hosting packages:
|WEBSITE STARTER||FLEXCLOUD SITE||FLEXCLOUD SITE PRO|
|Disk Space||50 GB||300 GB||1000 GB|
|Domains Per Site (Linux Only)||1||1||50|
|Support for Linux and Windows Platforms|
|MS SQL DBaaS||10||25|
|Language Support (Linux and Windows)|
|Easy Scripts Installer|
|Shared SSL Certificate|
|Dedicated SSL Certificate||Optional||Optional||GeoTrust Quick SSL|
|Dedicated IP Address||Optional||Optional||Included|
|24/7 VIP Support|
HostWay’s shared hosting packages are heavy on features and they’ve even trumped other top web hosting providers by providing cloud hosting. They’re also generous in providing unlimited monthly data transfers on their basic hosting plans. Although slightly lower compared to other web hosts, you can scale the amount of disk space you wish to get with your plan, but for an additional fee. They also offer free setup, which is a big plus.
But where HostWay falls behind the competition is the pricing. Their shared hosting plans are on the higher end of the spectrum when compared to other web hosts like BlueHost and iPage, which offer shared hosting packages at much cheaper rates. At the time of writing, however, HostWay is offering a limited-time 16% discount on all their shared hosting plans if you opt for a 1-year, 2-year, or 3-year registration. So if you’re ready to commit, you can’t afford to miss this money-saving opportunity.
Traditional web hosting involves an environment where resources like disk space, bandwidth and RAM are limited. But what if the popularity of your website or web application increases and there’s not enough room to grow? In this case, you’ll have to upload the hardware on your managed server. With HostWay, you can opt for their Cloud Solutions where resources can be upgraded or downgraded on the fly, letting you optimize resource consumption.
To provide reliable and scalable cloud-based managed servers, HostWay has closely partnered with Microsoft to offer their clients Azure-certified Cloud Solutions. Through this partnership, they have uniquely combined expertise in MS technology, hybrid hosting platform capabilities, and over 10 years of experience in the web hosting industry. The result is a powerful MS Cloud platform that’s designed to meet their clients’ specific needs.
HostWay’s cloud hosting plans are a great option if you want to only pay for resources you use instead of paying an excess amount for features you don’t use. They offer 3 different plans: Public Cloud, Private Cloud, and Dedicated Private Cloud. There’s no price specified on their site, which means you need to contact them for consultation.
HostWay Managed Server Cloud Hosting Plans Comparison Chart
|PUBLIC CLOUD||PRIVATE CLOUD||DEDICATED PRIVATE CLOUD|
|Windows and Linux Server Options|
|Fault Tolerant N+1 Architecture – Network\Compute\Storage|
|On-Demand VM Creation and Management|
|On-Demand Stage Provisioning|
|On-Demand Network Control and Management|
|On-Demand Firewall Control and Management|
|Ready to Deploy OS and App Templates|
|Managed Backup and Restore Services||Snapshots||Optional||Optional|
|Predictable Monthly Billing||Optional|
|Public API for Development Integration|
|Managed Virtual Servers||Optional||Optional||Optional|
|Dedicated Compute Servers|
|24/7 Technical Support|
[Hybrid] Besides these three cloud hosting plans, you can also go for their special Hybrid Cloud hosting plan. This is ideal for those who want to leverage some of their web applications that aren’t a good fit for virtualization, yet still want the benefits of the cloud for the rest.
With Hybrid Cloud, Hostway will design a solution for you that combined the best dedicated server options with one of their cloud offerings. This way, you can run a portion of your app on dedicated servers while running the rest in the cloud with a high-speed network connection between the two. With it, you can get the best of both worlds!
Again, HostWay have not provided a price for this hosting plan, so you need to schedule a time to talk with one of their Cloud experts. Don’t worry, requesting a consultation is FREE!
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
If your business needs a hosting solution that allows you to control server configuration, but one that won’t have you dig deep into your pockets, then you should consider VPS hosting. VPS has the freedom and flexibility of a dedicated server, but has the price and manageability of a shared hosting platform.
HostWay offer feature-rich VPS plans that come with the best technology from trusted brands like Parallels, Intel, and Microsoft. This ensures that you get the highest level of performance and reliable uptime for your site. HostWay will handle hardware maintenance and keep it working at optimum speed, while you focus on the most important thing: Growing your business!
Like their shared and cloud hosting plans, you can also choose to host your site between Linux and Windows platforms. In total, HostWay offer 6 different VPS plans: U100, U500 and U700 for the Linux platform; and W100, W500 and W700 for the Windows platform. And if you commit with HostWay for a year or more, you get two months of hosting for FREE. That’s a pretty good deal, right?
HostWay VPS Plans and Pricing Comparison Chart
|OS||CentOS 6||CentOS 6||CentOS 6|
|Disk Space||40 GB||70 GB||100 GB|
|Bandwidth||1 TB||2 TB||2 TB|
|RAM (Memory)||1 GB Burstable to 2 GB||2 GB Burstable to 4 GB||3 GB Burstable to 6 GB|
|Control Panel||Plesk 12 or cPanel||Plesk 12 or cPanel||Plesk 12 or cPanel|
|Dedicated IP Addresses||2||2||3|
|OS||Windows 2008||Windows 2008||Windows 2008|
|Disk Space||40 GB||70 GB||100 GB|
|Bandwidth||1.5 TB||2 TB||2 TB|
|RAM (Memory)||2 GB||3 GB||4 GB|
|Control Panel||Plesk 11||Plesk 11||Plesk 11|
|Dedicated IP Addresses||2||2||3|
Again, HostWay didn’t fail to impress in terms of features. But like with their other hosting plans, they are more expensive than the competition. In fact, if you compare their VPS plans with that of iPage’s offerings, you’ll notice that they offer almost the same features and amount of resources, yet iPage is cheaper by about $10! Check out my iPage review here and see it for yourself.
One other thing that I don’t like about HostWay is that you have to pay $2 a month for an additional IP address. If you want to get a cPanel license, you’ll also have to pay an extra $14.95 a month. For the Parallels Plesk Power Pack, you’ll need to shell out a monthly fee of $5 a month. Adding these to your bill, they make the price tag even higher than other web hosting providers. So if you ever decide to sign up with HostWay, you need to carefully check the price tag first to avoid paying more than what you expected.
When you’ve already outgrown your shared or VPS hosting plan and you need more power, space and flexibility, it’s probably time to transition to a dedicated server. HostWay developed managed dedicated servers for those who rely on web-based applications to run their business. Their managed servers come with flexible infrastructure and high-capacity networks that are necessary for you to generate revenue and to continuously communicate with your clients. Combined with a range of performance and high-level security features, you can easily create a fully managed server solutions that’s especially designed to suit your business.
Additionally, you can choose to host your site either on the Linux or Windows platform. It’s worth noting that, with their Windows Managed Server, you’ll get the latest Windows OS, Windows Server 2012, which has significantly improved in terms of patching, disk management, file storage, protocol, and virtualization. HostWay has a team of managed server experts who are standing by to help you create a solution that will reduce the load on your IT team and put your applications in their reliable network. HostWay will take care of the rest and you can get back to serving your customers.
You can choose from three different tiers: Starter, General Purpose, and High Utilization. You can set up a dedicated hosting plan that will provide you with the resources you need – no need to pay for resources or features you know you won’t use! And take note: If you decide to commit with HostWay for a year or more, you’ll get 6 months of hosting for FREE. That’s half a year without paying a single penny! With this generous offer, you have little to lose.
HostWay Managed Dedicated Server Plans and Pricing Comparison Chart
|Processor||Intel Xeon 5600 Series||Intel Xeon 5600 Series||Intel Xeon 5600 Series|
|Cores||1x Quad Core||2x Quad Core||2x Quad Core|
|Memory||8 GB DDR3||16 GB DDR3||32 GB DDR3|
|Drives||2x 300 GB SAS 15k 3.5″ RAID 1||2x 300 GB SAS 15k 3.5″ RAID 1||2x 300 GB SAS 15k 3.5″ RAID 1|
|Processor||Intel Xeon E5-2623 v3, 3.0 GHz||Intel Xeon E5-2623 v3, 3.0 GHz||Intel Xeon E5-2620 v3, 2.4 GHz|
|Cores||1x Quad Core||2x Quad Core||2x Hex Core|
|Memory||16 GB DDR4||32 GB DDR4||48 GB DDR4|
|Drives||2x 200 GB SSD, RAID 1||2x 200 GB SSD, RAID 1||4x 200 GB SSD, RAID 10|
|Processor||Intel Xeon E5-2623 v3, 3.0 GHz||Intel Xeon E5-2620 v3, 2.4 GHz||Intel Xeon E5-2667 v3, 3.2 GHz|
|Cores||2x Quad Core||2x Hex Core||2x Octo Core|
|Memory||48 GB DDR4||96 GB DDR4||128 GB DDR4|
|Drives||2x 200 GB SSD, RAID 1||4x 200 GB SSD, RAID 10||2x 400 GB SSD, RAID 10|
As you can see, there are plenty of plans to choose from, which is good but might be confusing to some. Also, I should note that the prices for their dedicated servers are a whole lot more expensive than many other web hosting providers. But given the fact that you get some pretty good features, it might be worth it in many cases. Still, you need to make a thorough comparison with other web hosts before you decide to purchase a plan with HostWay.
Magento eCommerce Hosting
Besides the usual lineup of hosting solutions, HostWay have also partnered with Magento to provide a unique eCommerce hosting package that’s especially designed for those who wish to build an online store with this ever-popular eCommerce platform.
By choosing HostWay as your Managed Magento Hosting provider, you can finally say goodbye to problematic IT infrastructure. Besides 24/7 security monitoring and intrusion protection, you’ll also have access to hundreds of useful extensions and resources to boost your site’s functionality. HostWay even have Magento Developer Partnerships that are ready to assist you so you can focus on growing your online business instead of worrying if your website will crash!
With HostWay’s Managed Magento Hosting plan, you’ll benefit from unparalleled speed and reliability, fast and flexible deployments, plus a dedicated customer support team that can answer all your questions at any given time.
Can’t wait to launch your own eCommerce site? Get in touch with a HostWay Magento specialist today and request a consultation!
Building a WordPress Blog with HostWay
If you’re looking for a home for your WordPress blog or website, don’t worry because HostWay has got you covered. You can bring your WordPress site to HostWay, or start a brand-new one with them!
You’re probably wondering why you should choose HostWay for your WordPress. That’s because they’re one of a handful of web hosts where you can experience the benefits of quality WordPress hosting, on top of security and performance. Everything you need to set up your WordPress site smoothly is provided for by HostWay. They even provide the EasyScript WordPress Installer so you’re just a few clicks away from getting thousands of customizable plugins, themes, and add-ons to further expand your WordPress site’s functionality.
Are you running a high-traffic or graphic-heavy blog or site? Consider signing up for HostWay’s FlexCloud Site Pro plan, as it’s optimized for WordPress hosting! It’s an affordable and easily accessible cloud hosting platform that’s perfect for WordPress users. Just call HostWay’s support team if you have any questions regarding setup.
Special Mention: User-Friendly Website Builder
Another feature that’s worth mentioning is HostWay’s easy-to-use Website Builder add-on. It has a drag-and-drop editor that allows you to create professional-looking sites for your online business. The Website Builder comes included with every HostWay hosting plan so you can instantly set up a site and start driving sales online.
You can try Website Builder for free for the first 30 days, although you need to pay an additional cost after the trial period. You can choose from three different versions: Starter, Basic, and Website Extender. But again, you need to choose a hosting plan first before you can use the Website Builder.
Here’s a comparison chart to guide you should you decide to get the Website Builder after the 30-day trial:
|No. of Web Pages||Up to 10 pages||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Responsive Mobile Website|
|Build Business Facebook Pages|
|FlexCloud Site Pro||FREE||$9.95/month|
It’s great that HostWay lets you test the waters before actually purchasing this add-on, but the fact that some web hosts offer a free website-building tool with their hosting plans might put you off. HostWay’s Website Builder seems to be more feature-rich compared to standard site-building tools, though, so it might be worth a shot. What’s more, if you choose Website Extender and go for annual pre-pay, you’ll get 25% off. You better hurry though, because this limited-time promo might end soon!
HostWay provides a number of control panels for you to use when managing your hosting account and websites. You can use a custom control panel called SiteControl if you choose any of their shared hosting plans. This simple control panel is used for editing, modifying, and configuring databases, email addresses, as well as domain names.
For higher hosting packages, you can choose between the cPanel and Plesk control panels. These control panels are known for providing a simple, browser-based point-and-click interface for creating and maintaining your websites and its associated applications and scripts. This includes your email and database servers, FTP accounts, and directories. It’s also where you install any customized software that you need for your website or for setting up accounts for your team or customers.
With Microsoft Windows Server 2003, you can actually get away with its built-in control panel so you don’t have to install a different one. But if you want more features and power, then you might consider getting another one. If you’re on the Linux server, you’ll definitely need a control panel unless you’re an advanced user and you know computer programming.
Most of us are probably already familiar with cPanel since it’s the most popular control panel for web hosting. It’s been available only for Linux servers. It’s also the industry-standard control panel since it has the most features and options, as well as the most power and flexibility compared to other control panels. It comes built with Fantastico which automates installation of web applications and software. It even comes with a second program called Web Host Manager, where administrators log into management functions.
On the other hand, Plesk can be used for both Linux and Windows. It has fewer features compared to cPanel, but it has a huge library of plugins for adding features. And compared to cPanel, it has a more streamlined interface, although some users might find it more difficult to use and customize. It’s generally a good choice for small businesses that don’t require as much power and customization options as cPanel offers.
Both cPanel and Plesk are available as demos so you can familiarize yourself before deciding to commit to one. HostWay offer a 15-day Test License for cPanel, while there’s an online demo of the Plesk panel.
99.9% Uptime Guarantee – Are They Reliable?
A good web host knows that there’s nothing more important than providing reliable hosting services to clients. As part of their commitment to providing quality service to their customers, HostWay provide a 99.9% uptime guarantee. The only problem with this is that it’s not clearly stated on their Terms of Service what exactly happens in the event that you experience lengthy downtimes.
After thorough research, I have found some customers who have reported experiencing downtime issues but were immediately given credits on their bills. You won’t find this written anywhere on their website, though. HostWay also provide regular automated backups so if there’s any sort of major hardware failure, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that they’ll help you get back up and running as soon as possible.
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
According to HostWay’s Terms of Service, each of their hosting plans comes with an industry-standard 30-day money-back guarantee. This means you can get a full refund within the first 30 days of service. So if you find it’s not right for, you have nothing to lose if you cancel your hosting account within the 30-day trial period.
My only issue with their money-back guarantee, however, is that there’s no mention of a pro-rated refund. What’s more, if you opt for their reseller program, add-on services, domain registration and other services are completely non-refundable. You should also be aware that the cancellation request must be sent to HostWay at least 30 days before the end of your current billing cycle.
24/7 Customer Support
HostWay focuses on providing speedy and reliable technical support to all their clients. But are they able to deliver?
As with any other web host, they claim to offer 24/7 technical support via phone and email, regardless of the hosting plan you choose. They have a team of knowledgeable customer care agents who are ready to solve most issues right away. And according to a number of clients, the customer support staff at HostWay are quick to solve even the most difficult problems. For clients who have opted for higher hosting plans, you’ll get VIP support, which means you’ll get a special phone number and email to guarantee priority response. What’s more, you’ll get FREE restoration ($99 value).
At HostWay, their staff is truly knowledgeable and experienced as they are trained to be able to handle all sorts of problems and questions that are asked by clients. New members of their team are required to complete training first, through HostWay’s online training school. This is so they’ll know all they can about HostWay’s technology and their commitment to providing quality hosting services. What’s more, they’re specifically trained to offer proper levels of customer care. So rest assured that their customer support staff can always assist you to their fullest ability should you encounter technical issues with your hosting account.
The only downside to their customer support is the live chat system. Yes, they may offer live chat support but the problem is that it’s only available for sales. It would have been a good way to contact customer support if you need immediate help. On the upside, HostWay also has an extensive knowledgebase filled with useful guides and tutorials; and a Cloud Forum for those who have chosen cloud hosting and need help from HostWay or from their fellow cloud hosting users.
Pros and Cons
From the looks of things, HostWay appears to be a good choice for web hosting. But as with any other web hosting provider, there are a few upsides and downsides you need to take note of before you decide to sign up with them.
- Multiples offices across the world
- Offers Linux and Windows hosting
- 24/7 customer support available on all hosting plans
- VIP Support included with higher plans
- Provide automatic data backups
- Free site-building tools, with optional premium tools
- Free setup on some hosting plans
- Use of cPanel and Plesk control panels
- Offer scalable cloud hosting options
- Offer free SSL certificates
- Provide free dedicated IP addresses on higher plans
- Offer several months of free hosting if you sign up for 1 year or more
- Lots of eCommerce tools and services
- Lots of hosting plans to choose from, which could confuse some clients
- Difficult to find the hosting plan you need
- Most of the hosting plans are somewhat more expensive than many other providers
- Costly setup on higher hosting plans
- Uptime guarantee not clearly stated on their Terms of Service
- No mention of pro-rated refund for cancellation of plan
- Some complaints from clients that cancelling their account is a hassle
- Absence of the Softaculous auto-installer on cPanel
- Takes several days to install SSL certificate
- Live chat is only available for sales
- Costly add-on services
- Website Builder comes at an additional cost after the trial period
- Shared hosting doesn’t give a choice of site builders
Final Verdict – A Top-Notch Web Hosting Provider
HostWay is a web host that strives to offer many things to their clients. They offer reliable, powerful, and secure web hosting solutions, and their plans are designed to meet the needs of individuals and businesses of all levels. They offer flexibility with many different hosting options, ranging from the most basic to the more advanced. The live chat support aside, I was also impressed with their knowledgeable and responsive customer support staff.
Though HostWay owns a lot of offices in many locations, it’s not exactly the largest one in the industry. And although they provide all sorts of hosting plans, basic web hosting seems to be merely an afterthought. Instead, they focus more on cloud and managed dedicated hosting. For new account holders, the setup process is likely to be a challenge but once you get past that, things will be smooth-sailing.
Again, before deciding to sign up with them (or with any other web host for that matter), make sure to read the User Agreement carefully. Being upfront is good, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Who knows, you might end up paying more than what you initially expected!