Interserver Review: We Put This cPanel Cloud Hosting to The Test

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Founded in 1999, InterServer is a leading provider of affordable web hosting solutions backed by top-notch customer service.

Interserver Homepage Screenshot
Interserver Homepage Screenshot

The company offers a variety of web hosting options, and it currently serves a variety of customers, from individual entrepreneurs and small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, around the world.

Web Hosting Options

InterServer's shared hosting plans are probably the ones most appropriate for you if you are looking to get your site up and running with a minimum of economic investment. However, inexpensive doesn't necessarily mean useless — InterServer's shared plans all come with an unlimited allocation of storage and bandwidth, as well as support for as many websites as you would like to build. You will also get as many email inboxes as necessary and a free SSL certificate to help you keep your (and your visitors' data) out of the hands of unauthorized users. You can choose to host your site on a Windows-based server or a Linux-based server.

If you have an existing site, InterServer will help you migrate it over for use with your new InterServer plan free of charge. Once you have gotten your site set up, you can manage it using the included cPanel (or Plesk, if you have chosen a server that is running Windows). To extend the functionality and feature set of your website, you can access the one-click installer via your control panel and add things like message boards, event calendars, content forms, and more. You can even set up your content management system (such as WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla) if that is what you are using to power your website.

To protect and optimize the performance of your website, your plan comes with automatic backups, usage of Cloudflare content delivery networks (CDNs), and spam filters. If you are a WordPress user, InterServer will automatically update your core on your behalf.

Finally, InterServer offers quality hardware, even at the shared hosting level. In addition to offering solid-state drives for storage, your site is hosted on a server that is no more than 50% full. This means there is a lower likelihood that another site hosted on the same server as yours cannibalizes the resources you need, resulting in slow page load speeds.

Scalability

If you ever find yourself outgrowing your shared hosting plan, you can easily scale up to a VPS hosting plan, or even a dedicated server, with InterServer's No Downtime Migration Process. This means that you do not have to seek out another web host if you grow, and you will not see any periods of time where your website is unavailable during the moving process.

Domain Name Discounts

If you purchase a shared hosting plan from InterServer and you do not already have a custom domain name, you can purchase one inexpensively as a thank you gift for purchasing a hosting plan.

Pricing and Billing

InterServer's shared hosting plans begin at just $5 per month, but you can opt to pay upfront for an extended contract. Extended contracts are available in lengths of 6, 12, 24, and 36 months, and if you opt for one of these, you will receive a discount on your monthly hosting fees. The longer your contract, the larger your discount, so those with 36-month-long contracts pay the least on a month-to-month basis.

Advanced Web Hosting Options

While you are most likely going to purchase a shared hosting plan when you are just getting started, InterServer does offer other hosting options:

  • Reseller Hosting
  • VPS and Cloud Hosting
  • Quick Servers
  • Dedicated Servers
  • Colocation Services

In some cases, you might choose to skip the shared plan and go straight to a VPS hosting plan (or even a dedicated server), especially if you are expected fast growth in the near future. While you will have excess server capacity in the short run, you eliminate the need for upgrading and data migration in the longer run.

Reseller Hosting

Reseller web hosting is a unique type that is aimed at those looking to sell parts of their package to multiple individuals (for example, you could purchase a reseller hosting package and open up your own web hosting business).

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InterServer's reseller plans come with instant account setup (many other providers ask for hours — sometimes days — to provision your account), easy, web-based management, automatic backups, and use of premium hardware. There are five different reseller hosting plans from which you can choose, each differing based on the plan's resource allocation. Regardless of which plan you purchase, you can host an unlimited number of accounts/websites.

VPS and Cloud Hosting

InterServer's VPS and cloud-based hosting options are typically what you would look to once you outgrow your shared plan, not reseller hosting. The VPS and cloud plans are very similar, but the latter gets your website space in a cloud-based environment.

When purchasing a hosting plan, you will begin by choosing whether you want a Linux or a Windows hosting environment. Once you have made a decision, you'll need to decide on the number of CPU cores, amount of memory, amount of storage, and data transfer cap that best fits the needs of your website. The maximums are as follows:

  • 4 CPU cores
  • 16,384 MB of RAM
  • 400 GB of storage
  • 16 TB of data transfer

VPS and cloud hosting plans are billed on a month-to-month basis, so there are no refunds and no money-back guarantees. You can, however, opt to pay upfront for a one-year contract to receive a 10% discount on the price of your hosting package.

Quick and Dedicated Servers

As its most powerful, most customizable, and most expensive option, InterServer's dedicated servers are great for those who run resource-heavy websites that serve a high level of traffic.

In addition to the traditional dedicated server options, InterServer offers a product it calls Quick Servers. Quick Servers are essentially dedicated servers, which is why we have grouped the two options together in this review.

Quick Servers are dedicated servers that can be provisioned for use in less than twenty minutes. InterServer offers a few configurations from which you can choose, and the options available tend to be much more powerful than the base servers that you can choose to customize.

The dedicated servers, however, are configurable options that can be provisioned and ready for use within four hours of your order. While there are three dedicated servers from which you can choose, you can, during the checkout process, add additional resources to your server if desired. Servers can go as low as 1 GB of memory, 250 GB of storage, and 1 CPU core. At the other end of the spectrum, you can get servers that come with 64 GB of memory, 6 CPU cores, and 1 TB of storage.

Cost-wise, it is difficult to say whether a Quick Server or a dedicated server that you customize is a better value when it comes to cost. This is because the Quick Server options do not correspond 100% to something you can customize.

Colocation Services

Colocation Services is a niche product where you pay InterServer to store and manage the infrastructure around a physical server that you own. Essentially, you are renting physical space that comes with redundancies in things like electrical connections, as well as physical security. Costs vary based on much space you need.

InterServer's data center is located in Secaucus, New Jersey, and if you host a server with the company, you'll get 24/7 biometric access to the data center. InterServer also offers a 100% power uptime guarantee.

Generally speaking, you will be managing your own server when it comes to software, but InterServer offers server management services you can purchase.

Uptime

InterServer guarantees an uptime of 99.9% in a given month, excluding scheduled maintenance. If the company is unable to meet this guarantee, they will compensate you by crediting your account for future web hosting services.

Customer Service and Technical Support

InterServer offers 24/7 technical support that can be reached via the InterServer Live Chat, support ticketing system or telephone. Its customer service team has won awards for the quality of service provided, but if you're looking for self-help resources (such as documentation or a knowledge base), know that InterServer is not too strong in this area.

Management Services

VPS hosting plans and dedicated servers come with some free server management services, such as system re-installation and server repairs (for things like mail, SQL, and DNS). While you still have to do a fair amount of your own server management, these services make it easier to manage your website and server.

Summary

InterServer is a solid provider of web hosting services that are capable of powering websites both large and small. With its robust web hosting options, all backed by top-notch customer service, InterServer is a great option for those looking to get started with their websites.

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Your Review of Interserver Hosting

Are you a current or former Interserver customer? Would you recommend them? Please leave your comments below and let our visitors know what you think of Interserver's speed, features and customer service.

Katie began her tech career as a C# developer before turning her hand to technical writing. She still codes regularly but these days she can be found writing about web development, coding and technology for HTML.com and our sister websites.
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