Particularly for start-ups and small businesses, Web Hosting Hub is touted for the affordability of its shared hosting services, and considered a front-running competitor to other popular web hosts like GoDaddy and BlueHost.
How good are they? Well let's see shall we?
Numerous features set Web Hosting Hub apart from comparable services.
Web Hosting Hub's service packages all use solid state drives (SSDs), which they claim makes their service 20 times faster than web hosts that rely on mechanical hard drives. Their two US data centers are staffed by over 200 employees who service upwards of 40,000 customers.
According to Web Hosting Hub's homepage, customer service is available 24/7, and hosting starts out at only $8.99 a month. (A current promotion quotes a 67% off discount, reducing the starting cost to only $2.99 a month.) Available services include a free domain name, free website transfer, and one-click WordPress installation. The pricing tiers and usability reflect that it's an ideal choice for users with little experience building their own website, and little startup capital at their disposal.
According to InMotion, Web Hosting Hub was engineered to target “more of the start-up, and professional blogger market.” To that end, they specialize in one kind of service only: Linux-based shared hosting. This allows users to not only maintain their websites affordably, but to know that their web host will be compatible with most popular websites and apps. It's an attractive option for other reasons, too: For those with a vested interest in supporting independent companies, Web Hosting Hub offers an alternative to other hosting companies, such as GoDaddy, owned by large corporations.
Right off the bat, Web Hosting Hub seems to have a lot going for it: it's exceptionally affordable, compatible with other popular services, and proclaimedly faster and more efficient than the competition.
But how does it really stack up to other web hosting services?
Let's take a closer look at some of the pros and cons of using Web Hosting Hub.
Examining How Web Hosting Hub Compares
So what are the pros of Web Hosting Hub as compared to other web hosting services?
To answer that question, we consulted multiple technology review sites to bring you the most comprehensive, accurate possible overview. Bear in mind as you peruse the following lists that this isn't a competition to determine definitely which web hosting service is best. In fact, we'd go a step further and argue that there is no “best” when it comes to choosing a web host. There are only services that meet your needs and those that don't. Our aim with this review is to help you better determine whether Web Hosting Hub will meet your specific needs.
With that in mind, here are our findings:
- Let's start with what's arguably Web Hosting Hub's most impressive claim: that their solid state hard drives ensure they can offer load times 20 times faster than the competition. According to Hosting Facts, they couldn't quite deliver on that figure. However, Web Hosting Hub's page load times were about 27% faster than the competition. This is an exceptionally fast rate of speed, and given the infinitesimal attention spans of the majority of web users, it gives Web Hosting Hub a strong competitive edge among other hosting services.
- For most users, and particularly for small business owners, pricing is the #1 feature to take into account when selecting a web hosting service. In that respect, Web Hosting Hub is at the top of its game. There are three different pricing tiers available—Spark, Nitro, and Dynamo—which range from $8.99 to $16.99 a month. They also frequently offer discounts, including the 67% off promotion we mentioned earlier, which can bring the cost of hosting services down to as little as $5 a month for the first year.
- Customer support is another critical factor when it comes to selecting a web hosting service. If support is only available at inconvenient times of day, comes with excessively long wait times attached, unreliable, or slow to respond, it can create a glut of unnecessary extra work for the user. Web Hosting Hub boasts round-the-clock customer support, and Hosting Facts found that it delivered on its promises—for the most part. Wait times before being connected to customer support hovered around three minutes, and the verification process took about five minutes more. All in all, Web Hosting Hub's customer service could be obtained quickly and easily.
- Experienced web designers will be able to find their way around most web hosting services with little difficulty, but to the average consumer usability can pose a much bigger challenge. This is another area where Web Hosting Hub excels. After you've selected which package you want to buy, their website asks you a series of questions to gauge your level of tech literacy. They then send you an informative “Getting Started”package tailored to your skill level, or in the case of absolute beginners they connect you to a support specialist who can help walk you through the set-up process. It's an ingenious way of ensuring all of their customers get the information they need to successfully set up their website.
- PC Mag highlights another important detail that cost-conscious buyers will appreciate: Web Hosting Hub's 90-day money-back guarantee. Whereas most other web hosting services offer only a 30- or 60-day window in which to cancel, Web Hosting Hub gives new customers ample opportunity to familiarize themselves with the service and determine whether it's right for them. If, after your evaluation period, you decide another hosting service better meets your needs, you have an ample timeframe in which to cancel. The only competitor who surpasses the length of Web Hosting Hub's money-back guarantee is Dreamhost, which offers a 97-day refund period.
Overall, our findings were that Web Hosting Hub lived up to its claims in terms of affordability, accessibility to novice web designers, and availability of customer service. Additionally, Web Hosting Hub has been a Better Business Bureau-accredited business since 2010 and shows a total of only nine recorded complaints: an impressive track record by any metric. If you're a small business owner looking to create a simple, affordable website that's compatible with other popular services like WordPress, then Web Hosting Hub is an ideal choice for you.
But to ensure you're getting a balanced look at this service before you opt in, let's also take a look at the list of cons to find out where Web Hosting Hub falls short.
Although it's a strong contender in terms of its affordability, accessibility, speed, and customer service, Web Hosting Hub does also come with its share of drawbacks. Let's explore some of those now.
- To its more tech-savvy consumers, Web Hosting Hub's biggest turn-off will probably be the fact that it doesn't use Windows-based servers. Instead, it relies on a shared Linux-based server, which is advantageous in that it's compatible with a wider selection of apps, but also problematic in that it can pose compatibility issues with certain Windows-specific applications. Users with a background in web development won't be intimidated, but less experienced users may find it daunting.
- Those looking to keep the amount of money they spend on web hosting services will be pleased by Web Hosting Hub's competitively low rates, but disappointed by its lack of a month-to-month payment option. New users are required to pay for the first year of service up front in one lump sum, which can be frustrating for those who are working on a tight budget. And to get the best value for your money, you'll want to select the three-year contract ($3.99 a month) versus the one-year contract ($6.99 a month). As mentioned above, the 90-day money-back guarantee provides a safeguard that ensures you can get your money back if you aren't fully satisfied with the service, but it still demands that you pay more up front than other web hosting services require. Keep this in mind before making your initial investment.
- Web Hosting Hub offers only shared hosting. In layperson's terms, shared hosting simply means that the service provider serves multiple websites from a single server. The major advantage to shared hosting is its affordability. But the big downside is that if your website suddenly explodes in popularity, that single server powering it may not be equipped to keep up with the increased traffic. Unfortunately, Web Hosting Hub doesn't offer a dedicated hosting option, potentially forcing users t to have to take their business elsewhere in order to keep up with the demands of a highly trafficked site.
- Whereas many other web hosting services include free anti-virus protections and backup functions as part of their overall package, Web Hosting Hub charges extra for these add-ons. This was one of the biggest complaints about their pricing system. Although on the surface their pricing tiers appear to offer better value than most of their competitors, it could be argued that you're paying less per month but for less comprehensive service. Most users won't want to do without basic security precautions or the ability to restore lost data in the event of a crash, and being charged extra for these features probably won't be the most popular marketing decision Web Hosting Hub has made.
By now you probably have a clearer image of the specific pros and cons offered by Web Hosting Hub relative to other web hosting services. With this comparison in mind, let's take a more in-depth look at what you get when you choose Web Hosting Hub for your web hosting needs.
The Nitty Gritty
As we mentioned earlier, Web Hosting Hub offers users three different service packages to choose from: Spark, Nitro, and Dynamo. While all three packages include site-building software, unlimited disk space, data transference, and email accounts, there are some advantages that come with the pricier plans. With Spark ($8.99/month), you get a free domain, 25 sub-domains, and you can host up to two websites. Nitro ($12.99/month) gives you unlimited website hosting and sub-domains, making it an optimal choice for small business owners. Finally, Dynamo ($16.99/month) offers additional server resources, making it a better choice for sites with more regular traffic.
Logging into the account management panel takes you to Web Hosting Hub's site builder. Depending on your skill level, you can toggle between two different control panels: one clearly intended for beginners, and a slightly more complex version with more experienced users in mind. This is where you can set up your content management, begin designing and customizing your website, and add various plug-ins and themes. The interface streamlines what could otherwise be a confusing endeavor into a series of easy installations and simple drag-and-drop sequences.
From there, you have the option of adding on optional security features to further safeguard your website. McAfee Virus and Anti-Spam Protection starts at only $1.39 a month and offers your website enhanced protection from hacking, phishing, and data failures. (Some users object to the fact that Web Hosting Hub offers basic security as an “opt-in” feature that costs an additional fee, so keep that in mind.)
If you find yourself with questions along the way, you can take advantage of Web Hosting Hub's customer support system. Available 24/7, the staff is reachable via phone, email, or live chat with minimal wait times. PCMag calls Web Hosting Hub's customer service “one of the best customer service teams I've dealt with since I started reviewing Web hosting services.”
Ultimately, if you try Web Hosting Hub and decide it isn't the service for you, you have ninety days in which to reach a decision and receive a full refund. Overall, you can expect an easy-to-use service at an affordable rate with plenty of tech support specialists on hand to assist you if you encounter any roadblocks.
As evinced by this review and the various sites we consulted while writing it, Web Hosting Hub is a legitimate contender where affordable web hosting for small businesses is concerned. At this point it's a less recognizable brand than a service like GoDaddy and some other bigger-name web hosts, but that will appeal to those who prefer to support smaller, independently owned companies over large corporations. While its site-building mechanism is geared toward less experienced users, it can easily be tweaked and customized by those with a more comprehensive background in web design, and the competitive pricing makes it accessible to those who have limited resources to spend on web hosting.
Probably the biggest drawback is the limited nature of the hosting service offered. Shared hosting means Web Hosting Hub can really only service websites with a moderate amount of traffic, so if you find that your business has grown to a point where Web Hosting Hub can no longer sustain the amount of traffic your website is receiving, you may need to switch hosting services to keep up. Obviously, this has the potential to pose some frustrating, costly problems to users with frequently trafficked sites, but those with a smaller number of regular visitors shouldn't have any complaints.
At the end of the day, it's for you to decide whether Web Hosting Hub or a competitor web hosting service is best for you. We hope that this review guide has given you the details you need to make an informed decision about selecting a hosting service, and that you're satisfied with your choice.
Have you used Web Hosting Hub before? If so, what were your experiences like? How do you feel it ranks alongside other hosting services? Would you recommend it to other users? Leave us a comment with your experience!