WestHost: Our Review

Since 1998, Utah-based hosting provider WestHost has made its “singular goal” to provide affordable—yet still powerful—Web hosting.

With its array of hosting options and related services, as well as comprehensive support, WestHost is a solid choice for anyone looking to get their business online.

Features

WestHost offers four levels of hosting: Shared, Cloud-based Virtual Private Server (VPS), Reseller, and Dedicated (Reseller and VPS hosting are both supported by the same cloud-based servers). All of their service plans rely on Linux-based servers.

Shared Hosting Features

At the shared level, WestHost offers three shared hosting plans: Personal Hosting, Preferred Hosting, and Business Hosting.

  • Free domain name (excluding Personal Hosting; additional fees apply)
  • Unlimited* domains and sub-domains (single additional domain and 10 sub-domains with Personal Hosting plan)
  • 50 GB/200 GB/Unlimited* drive space
  • 1 TB/2.5TB/Unlimited* data transfer/bandwidth
  • Unlimited* MySQL databases (single database with Personal Hosting plan)
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • Support for Unlimited* email accounts (100 accounts with Personal Hosting plan) and webmail. (IMAP and POP3)
  • Free 24/7 U.S.-based customer support via email/phone/chat
  • Dedicated IP address (included with Buzz Premier, optional with Buzz Light and Buzz Power; additional fees apply)
  • Free, template-based website builder with 200 templates and a free mobile site
  • Automatic server backups
  • Softaculous one-click installer for adding applications and scripts
  • cPanel user control panel
  • Full support for:
    • eCommerce (CubeCart, osCommerce, Zen Cart, Agora Cart, Magento)
    • Free shared Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate
    • WordPress
    • PHP 5
    • Ruby on Rails
    • Secure Shell (SSH) access
    • Python
    • Server-Side Includes (SSI)
    • Perl
    • Multimedia streaming

Shared hosting is covered by the WestHost 60-day money-back guarantee. Extra bandwidth, additional software and more powerful eCommerce options can be added for an additional monthly fee.

Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting Features

If you need greater control over your Web server, or you’ve simply outgrown shared hosting, WestHost’s three VPS plans may be the answer. These plans (Burst, Storm, and Monsoon) add dedicated CPUs and other enhancements to the basic shared hosting options.

      • Your own virtual Linux server, with:
        • Full root access to your server for application installation/customization
        • Dedicated CPU, running at up to 5.4 GHz
        • Up to 3384 MB of dedicated RAM
        • Up to 90 GB of storage space
        • Up to 2250 GB monthly bandwidth
        • Unlimited* email accounts with webmail and POP3 (1,000 accounts with Burst plan)
      • Pro-active, 24/7/365 managed support
      • Dedicated IP address
      • File Transfer Protocol (FTP) access for your server
      • Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate (requires dedicated IP; additional fees apply)
      • Managed hosting is available (including consultation and server optimization) for an additional fee
      • Blesta billing application
      • Free cPanel license
      • Softaculous one-click installer

*As a rule, “unlimited” in the context of shared hosting generally denotes “limitless until you negatively impact server performance, at which point you may be billed or transferred to a more costly service tier.”

WestHost’s reseller plans are also hosted in this tier. They are identical in price and basic features, but include free SSL certificates, cPanel and WHM, a reseller account, and extra dedicated IP addresses (up to 8) to support reseller and eCommerce functions.

Both VPS and reseller hosting are covered by WestHost’s 60-day money-back guarantee, and can also be upgraded with additional resources and services for a fee.

Dedicated Hosting Features

If it’s total Web server control and security you’re after, one of WestHost’s four dedicated hosting plans might just fit the bill.

      • Your own physical Linux server, with:
        • All of the features and perks of the lower tiers
        • Free initial setup
        • Total root access for your server
        • Four dedicated IP addresses
        • Single or dual Intel® processors (ATOM™ or Xeon™)
        • Up to 24 GB of RAM
        • Up to 1 TB of storage space, with a choice of software or hardware RAID
        • Up to 10 TB of monthly traffic
        • Both unmanaged and fully managed hosting and support plans are available
        • cPanel, WHMCS, Softaculous and other applications are included
        • Four free SSL certificates included
        • Nightly backups available (additional fees apply)
        • RAID configurations available (additional fees apply)

WestHost covers its dedicated hosting plans with the same 60-day money-back guarantee that covers all its plans. All of the services included in the managed hosting plans are available for purchase a la carte for those who choose unmanaged plans, although the price difference is small enough to make managed hosting a more attractive option for anyone disinclined to “tinker” with their Web server.

Benefits Breakdown

The Good

Positioning themselves as a value, rather than a bargain, WestHost offers cutting-edge data centers, full-service support and a rich feature set available for plans at every level, striking an attractive balance between affordability and power.

A 60-day money-back guarantee is a welcome upgrade to the 30-day industry standard, and perks like fully managed hosting and backup upgrades provide additional peace of mind for an additional fee each month.

The Not-So-Good

While prices at the shared level are not only affordable, but compare very favorably with similar competitors’ pricing (particularly when one considers the inclusion of applications like cPanel and Softaculous without an additional monthly fee), customers investigating both unmanaged and managed dedicated hosting options might be a bit taken aback by the relatively restrictive storage and RAM options.

As a Linux-only provider, WestHost is not for you f your site requires support for Windows applications, or you’re using application development tools like ASP.NET.

WestHost seeks to set itself apart from its competition with true value and outstanding customer support, and for the most part, it succeeds in that mission. But for high-end plans, premium service and next-gen hardware are counteracted somewhat by a Linux-only environment and relatively modest limits on resources like RAM and storage, so those with high-traffic or resource-hungry sites may want to take a close look at what’s on offer before choosing a plan.

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