Web Hosting Hub Review – Live Up To The Hype?
I’m sure you have heard of Web Hosting Hub.
You might haven’t used them in the past, but you have definitely heard the name. They are big, hosting over half a million domains on the internet.
To find out the performance, and publish an unbiased review, I purchased a Web Hosting Hub launch plan in January 2016, and setup the host with a basic WordPress theme.
As part of my niche site building service, I have dozens of clients using their service. This Web Hosting Hub review is written based on my experience, and real time data and statistics from the sites I have hosted with them.
PROS & CONS OF WEB HOSTING HUB
- They have some of the best customer service in the industry, reported by other customers. All of their employees are located in the United States and are native English speakers.
- The 90-day money-back guarantee is one of the longest in the industry, and, minus the licensing costs and domain name registrations, provides a very complete refund. I like that even if you forget to cancel, or run over the 90 days, they still give a prorated refund.
- Web Hosting Hub uses many of the industry standards, including cPanel and Softaculous, which are easy to use for customers of all abilities.
- Set-up is a breeze. Whether you are opening an account or migrating a Web site, Web Hosting Hub has put together several different options and platforms that newbies can use and customers with experience can appreciate.
- Web Hosting Hub only offers shared hosting plans. If you want to grow your business, shop, blog, or even just increase Web traffic, you’ll have a difficult time once you’ve reached the limits of their highest plan.
- Many customers have found that they don’t always reach 99.9 percent uptime, which is the standard goal for most Web hosts.
- In plans from other Web hosts that offer unlimited everything, having limits on the number of Web sites available on the Spark plan can be disappointing.
- Web Hosting Hub doesn’t offer any kind of reseller plans, which would be nice, considering their impressive speeds.
- Back-ups aren’t automatic or free; it costs $1 per month. There are also extra charges for anti-virus and anti-spam protection.
- About five years ago, Web Hosting Hub had many customers report hacking that defaced a number of their sites. While the sites were quickly restored, most within 12 hours, there are still customers who bring up concerns about the previous incident.
Brief History of Web Hosting Hub
Web Hosting Hub started the journey in 2010. Since the beginning, the company has worked to meet its goal of providing high quality technical and customer support and exceeding expectations for the Web hosting industry in general.
Web Hosting Hub is based in Virginia Beach, also home to one of its U.S. data centers; the other is located in Los Angeles, where company leadership prides itself on operating that center as the first ever green data center.
They have pulled in newer technology to vent hot air outside of the building and pull in cooler air. As a result, the computer room air conditioners only kick in when it is hot or humid outside. Thanks to the outside air cooling technology, the company has cut cooling costs by almost 70 percent and lowered their annual carbon output by more than 2,000 tons.
Web Hosting Hub and InMotion Hosting are sister companies, with InMotion Hosting as the managing company; each company targets a specific audience segment. Web Hosting Hub is geared more toward smaller Web sites, start-ups, and bloggers. Employees of both companies have shares in the structure, and work to provide quality customer service.
Plans and Pricing
Web Hosting Hub offers three plans, all of which include a free domain, free solid state hard drives (SSD), advertising credits, Free site transfer and backups for only $1 a month.
The cheapest route is to select the three-year contract.
Spark is designed for beginners, small businesses, and those who are looking for the basics. The plan starts at $8.99, (For Marketever followers, there is a discounted price of $3.99/month, you can sign up from this link).
It’s great for low-traffic sites that want the basics to get started growing.
The company’s mid-level package, is great for sites that are already established. It’s about twice as powerful as Spark, and is ideal for higher-traffic sites or more than one medium site.
Nitro typically starts at $12.99 each month, but Marketever audience discount lowers the price to $5.99 monthly. You can host unlimited websites on this package.
The most powerful plan, is idea for sites with high traffic, multiple sites, or sites that run large or heavy applications that require a greater number of server resources.
Customers with the Dynamo plan experience about four times the power as those with the Spark plan, giving their site’s visitors and users a faster, more responsive site.
The monthly plan cost is usually $16.99, but for Marketever audiences, the price is around $7.99 each month.
Web Hosting Hub Features
Similar to other hosting providers, Web Hosting Hub increases the features as packages increase, but I think that the benefits with even the Spark package are very thorough and detailed.
Features that are common to each plan include:
- Free domain
- SSD Space
- Free web site transfer
- Automatically installed WordPress (if selected when signing up)
- Auto-installed shopping cart
- SSH access
- Web site builder
In addition, Web Hosting Hub offers packages for customizable site design. Customers who purchase a plan for site design get both free hosting and free updates for one year.
Free Domain Name & Site Migration
Each plan includes one free domain name for the first year, which can include a domain registration or domain transfer.
This also provides you with domain locking, which means the name you select can’t be transferred or registered to another account, and prevents any unauthorized or unwanted changes to the domain name.
Web Hosting Hub has an easy-to-use domain transfer process. Each of the shared Web hosting plans include free site transfer for up to three Web sites — anything after that costs $25 per site.
The free transfers are for cPanel accounts within 5GB that have up to three databases or web sites. Larger transfers may cost $10 per transfer.
How the transfer process work?
Give Web Hosting Hub your account information and login credentials when you create a hosting account and they’ll migrate your site files, databases, e-mail accounts, cPanel settings, and domain records.
Web Hosting Hub makes sure customers understand the site migration steps from beginning to end, with a detailed blog entry that outlines each part of the migration process, both without cPanel and with a cPanel backup.
Solid State Hard Drives (SSD)
Each of Web Hosting Hub’s plans includes free solid-state hard drives (SSD), which are newer pieces of technology that can be up to 20 times faster than traditional hard drives, and are more reliable.
The technology was first used in netbooks, and solid state drives are traditionally 2.5 inches, meaning that more consumers are able to swap their regular hard drive for a solid-state drive. Most server versions are around 16TB, which provides faster boot times and more space.
Traditional hard drives are metal platters with magnetic coating to store data; read and write heads access the data from the spinning platters. The problems with hard drives come in because of the spinning, which not only takes time to reach the appropriate operating speeds, but can cause large files to scatter around the platter and fragment the hard drive.
This makes them more delicate, as well.
Solid-state drives, on the other hand, are fixed. There is no physical read head, so they are sturdier than traditional hard drives. The additional space allows applications to run faster, and uses less power for operation.
However, this newer technology comes at a higher price, and other Web hosting companies charge more for servers with SSDs. I appreciate that Web Hosting Hub has made this a standard feature for all of their shared hosting plans.
90 Days Money-Back Guarantee
I love the refund period Web Hosting Hub covers.
They have a generous 90-day money-back guarantee for customers who aren’t happy with their service, which is longer than many other Web hosting companies. Their terms are very similar to industry standards, as well.
There are some negative sides too:
They have some non-refundable fees, which are paid by the subscriber. These include the cost of purchasing SSL certificates, domain names, and domain privacy.
The free domain name that comes with an account has an annual cost of $11.99 and a $5 administrative fee, both of which will be taken from the refund, since customers will be able to take their ownership and domain control with them.
If there was a dedicated IP, the customers will receive a prorated amount that is based on the terms, and dates of registration and cancellation.
Within the 90 calendar days, though, all other hosting service fees will be refunded.
Customers who want to cancel can submit an electronic form, and company representatives are prompt and responsive, making the cancellation straightforward and simple.
Easy Blog Setup?
Web Hosting Hub, in its goal to help bloggers and start-ups, has made sure to automatically install WordPress with every plan for customers who make that selection.
This means that choosing and installing WordPress will be much quicker and give customers a more seamless, streamlined process.
WordPress Website Builder
They’ve also included BoldGrid Web site builder standard with every plan. This drag-and-drop platform includes 20 free, catchy templates, free industry-specific content, and allows customers to customize their themes as desired by giving them access to the source files.
The themes are all HTML5 and responsive on any device. Themes have unlimited pages, demonstrations, and prevent content loss when changing themes.
In my opinion, creating a website with this tool is extremely quick and easy. They have an explainer video on how BoldGrid works!
Web Hosting Hub uses cPanel, the industry standard in control panel interfaces. cPanel wraps up each tool and feature of the hosting plan into a centralized workstation that allows you to create e-mails, set-up and develop new Web sites, and control your Web Hosting Hub account.
Through the cPanel, customers can:
- Install hundreds of applications
- Access POP, IMAP and SMTP e-mail management options
- Get service and support for your server
- Manage your files and FTP choices
- Use the Advanced DNS editor to manage more than one domain
- Backup and transfer your files
- View and analyze stats that will improve your sites
cPanel also gives SSH access. The secure shell encrypts operating network protocol to allow for safe operation on unsecured networks. Users can access the server with command line.
SSH gives customers easier workflow procedures, more efficient management, and eliminates the challenges facing graphical user interfaces.
By using cPanel, customers can easily and quickly transfer their Web sites, and even cPanel's accounts can be quickly migrated. Web Hosting Hub uses the newest, most stable versions of cPanel.
Server Reliability & Uptime Scores
Industry standards for Web hosts are 99.9 percent uptime, with a select few offering, and even guaranteeing, a 99.99 percent uptime.
While Web Hosting Hub doesn’t make these promises, many customers have seen between 98 and 100 percent uptime on regular assessments of their site’s uptime.
Web Hosting Hub uses 100 percent factory-tested Dell servers on both sites of the country, with data centers in Virginia Beach and Los Angeles.
In addition to regular and consistent uptime, Web Hosting Hub has no downtime for site migration, either. Once a customer gives the technicians the login information for their previous hosts, they will log in and transfer the site over.
Each site is moved to a temporary staging platform where customers can test and set up their site before completely finalizing the transfer.
Speed - How Faster The Site Loads?
Thanks to the SSD, customers have reported speeds dropping from 13 seconds to less than three seconds, with a high level of consistency. Speed is very important, as Web site users are more likely to leave and click away from a site the longer the site takes to load.
Web Hosting Hub consistently produces great load times, even with sites that are heavier than normal. For small to medium-sized Web sites that aren’t bogged down with traffic, many companies have found sufficiently fast load times, and their own users re-visit their sites, which I think speaks to the high speeds offered by Web Hosting Hub.
From the beginning, Web Hosting Hub takes security seriously, with some accounts requiring additional details via e-mail or phone call to completely activate and verify the account.
For some users, this level of verification is kind of hassle.
These details can be cumbersome for customers in different parts of the world, but I appreciate that they want to work toward creating a secure environment from the very beginning.
Now it comes to server side security:
The Web Hosting Hub servers use the suPHP configuration to run scripts as a common gateway interface. On these types of servers, customers can set their individual folder and file permissions, but can still execute site scripts. These commands can all be set from the account’s user name that is on the cPanel.
Virus protection and anti spam?
Web Hosting Hub offers anti-virus and anti-spam protection to help keep sites secure, and took additional measures following a 2011 hacking incident that occurred for quite a few sites.
There is a negative site:
These extra measures will incur an extra financial charge each month, something that many other Web hosts include as standard in their plans and packages.
Even so, the protection they offer, as well as additional WordPress security, gives a great sense of confidence in the protection of your Web site.
Web Hosting Hub is well recognized for their extensive customer support. They offer 24/7 customer support, with all of their employees based in the United States. Each technical representative is a native English speaker, and is able to efficiently and thoroughly explain or troubleshoot possible problems.
Customers can reach support representatives in a few different ways, including phone, e-mail and chat, although this may result in a group chat, rather than one-on-one. They also take care to provide quick responses to tickets.
Even when customers are the culprits of the problem, the technical representatives are able to figure out the error and repair or correct the situation.
They have an extensive database of questions that are frequently answered, with step-by-step instructions and diagrams that help to diagnose problems.
In addition to providing this information, they keep detailed notes about previous service calls and tickets, so that customer service representatives know what was previously done.
Web Hosting Hub has also gotten high remarks for their support in all departments, from sales to billing.