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Is Certified Hosting the host for you?
Last reviewed May 4, 2012
$ 3.95 / Month
First of all i want to tell you guys that Certified Hosting is a small hosting company with big potential and lots of clients, their uptime is great as well as the support which is excellent. I didnt have any problems with them. I surely recommend Certified Hosting to other people.
Certified Hosting is an American web hosting company. It was originally founded in 1999 to serve Fortune 500 companies. Kacy Carlsen is currently the CEO and co-founded the company with her husband Stan. Carlsen appears in several marketing videos on the company’s website and appears to oversee the company’s marketing and promotion.
Certified Hosting originally provided hosting services from a shared data centre in Ohio. Later, it relocated its services to Atlanta and Phoenix. The company headquarters is in Grand Terrace, California.
Its low-cost shared Linux hosting is the main attraction, but the company also offers reseller, VPS and dedicated hosting.
Certified Hosting Hosting Plans
Certified Hosting specialises in shared Linux website hosting. There are three plans: Dork, Geek and Nerd. All offer unlimited disk space and bandwidth, but the cheaper plan only allows customers to use one domain name. On the most expensive Nerd plan, clients are given a dedicated IP and private SSL certificate and FFMpeg hosting is offered too.
Reseller hosting is also split into five plans which are numbered 1 to 5, with 1 being the most restrictive. Resellers can choose from 50 GB storage and 500 GB bandwidth up to 300 GB storage and 1500 GB bandwidth. There’s also a managed plan, the 10 TB Power Reseller Server, which is essentially a dedicated server plan with reseller tools built in.
There are five VPS plans available at Certified Hosting: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond. All of these VPS plans are managed, so they’re suitable for beginners as well as experienced users. All are built on Linux and include free licences for cPanel and WHM.
Certified Hosting offers two fully managed dedicated server plans; each has several configurations to choose from. Customers can select CentOS or FreeBSD - there are no Windows dedicated servers on offer. Users can also choose cPanel or Plesk on dedicate server plans.
The company is very upfront about its ‘unlimited’ policy on shared Linux hosting plans. It states that unlimited really does mean unlimited, but poorly optimised sites may be suspended. However, users can purchase a Certified Protection add-on which guarantees their site will never be suspended due to resource spikes. Instead, it will be moved to a holding server until the issue is resolved. If it can’t be resolved, any fees paid for Certified Protection will be re-issued as a credit note towards a dedicated server, which seems very fair.
Certified Hosting Uptime/Downtime
Cerfieied Hosting owns servers in two data centres. One is located in Atlanta, Georgia, and one is located in Phoenix, Arizona. Both are Tier 1 facilities, and the company places great emphasis on its redundancy planning. The data centres offer two-hour battery backup, multiple generators, two UPS units in each facility and 24/7 monitoring all year round. The company doesn’t appear to emphasise any green credentials and does not purchase renewable energy credits.
The company offers a 99.999% uptime guarantee which is better than most hosts’ promise of 99.9%. The uptime figure is measured monthly and is covered in detail on the website, which is nice to see. After 1 hour of downtime, customers are offered a 1-day credit. After 4 or more hours’ downtime, customers receive a 1 week credit. In order to claim credit, customers have to put their complaint in writing and Certified Hosting must verify the details via email and agree that their equipment was at fault. The company even has a dedicated mailbox for downtime claims.
The host offers instant backups, but it appears that these are the backups offered via cPanel - they are not automatic.
It’s really refreshing to see such clear information about policy, and Certified Hosting really does its best to put customers’ minds at ease.
Certified Hosting Support
Support is provided via a very comprehensive help portal which is open to the public. The KnowledgeBase contains a good number of articles, video tutorials and FAQs. There’s also a ticketing system, customer forums, a service status blog, a general company blog and social media pages on Facebook and Twitter. Customers do use the Facebook page to communicate with staff, but the Twitter feed is used solely for company announcements.
Certified Hosting has a live chat box which had an ‘Online’ graphic prominently visible, but there was nobody available to take my question when I tried to log on. It looks like support isn’t provided 24/7 via chat, despite what its Contact page claims.
However, telephone numbers are provided for US and international customers and these are provided around the clock. Unusually, the company also provides a number for support via fax.
Certified Hosting in the News
I looked at major tech news sites for reports about Certified Hosting, but the company doesn’t seem to have attracted any bad press.
Certified Hosting Control Panel
All hosting customers receive cPanel as standard, and the company links through to an online demo if you want to try before you buy. Billing and support is handled through a support portal. Free cPanel licenses are provided to VPS hosting customers. Dedicated server customers can choose between cPanel (with WHM) or Plesk Panel 10, although the host recommends cPanel.
Certified Hosting Extras
Certified Hosting offers Softaculous through cPanel, so most common scripts - including WordPress, Drupal, osCommerce, Magento and Roundcube - are all available as one-click installers. Certified Hosting offers Online SiteBuilder, a standard website builder tool with hundreds of templates. Its demo page boasts that users can get a working website online within five minutes.
The host also offers a range of video scripts including PHPMotion, Mediashare, OSTube and Rayzz Just Broadcast, and it promotes support for FFMpeg too.
Shared hosting customers receive $100 in Google AdWords credits.
Certified Hosting Money Back Guarantee / Cancellation Policy
Certified Hosting offers a generous and clearly-defined anytime money-back guarantee on all plans except dedicated servers. Should you wish to cancel, all of your unused credit will be returned. Free domain names are charged at the usual rate and deducted from the refund, but the name can be transferred away from Certified Hosting after 60 days have elapsed from the date of registration. Before those 60 days are up, customers can change its nameservers and continue to use the domain.
Certified Hosting Summary
Certified Hosting offers a range of shared and managed web hosting services. Its website is easy-to-use and it comes across as a friendly yet professional company. Despite being founded in 1999, the company is still in private ownership and is still run by its founders which suggests it’s a stable and dependable choice.
It’s impressive to see a host so upfront about its policies, particularly downtime and unlimited usage policies, and Certified Protection is a fantastic add-on that will give novice web hosting users peace of mind. Certified Hosting has obviously focused on being honest and building trust, and its services give the impression of a personal touch which similar hosts like HostGator and GoDaddy have all but lost over the years. All it needs to do is offer 24/7 chat and support via Twitter and it’ll be up there with some of the biggest shared hosting companies we’ve reviewed.
Certified Hosting focuses on low-cost Linux hosting plans and does not offer Windows plans.
Various promotional offers and discounts are routinely available, but bear in mind that they do not extend to renewals.
Yes. The company offers numerous dedicated server plans in three pricing tiers and three data centers.
Yes, you will get a free domain if you commit to a 1-year plan.
Yes, Certified Hosting provides domain registration services and handles transfers.
The company has an anytime money back guarantee and reimburses users for any unused time. The refund excludes domain registrations and some other fees.
No. The company appears to have discontinued its VPS hosting plans.
Yes, a toll-free hotline is available for North America, as well as a global support line.
Certified Hosting is a US company and customer service is available in English.
The company’s head office is in Grand Terrace, California, US.
The company operates data centers in Phoenix, Arizona and Amsterdam.
All industry-standard scripting and programming languages are supported. These include Python, PHP, Perl, CGI and more.
Yes, five different reseller plans are available.
Yes. Affiliates can earn $65 to $125 per sale.
Yes, support is available and site file transfers are free.
Yes. The company caters to small publishers and startups with a number of affordable plans. A few hosting plans tailored for WordPress are available as well.
The company offers three shared hosting tiers – Dork, Geek and Nerd. The entry-level Dork plan supports only a single domain, but the other two offer unlimited domains.
Yes, site builder software is available free of charge on all hosting plans, along with templates and other resources.
The company employs 24/7 server monitoring and industry-standard security.
E-commerce is supported on all shared hosting plans. Magento, Agora, Cube Cart, OS Commerce and Zen Cart are available.
There is no automated transfer, but the host will help you transfer files and databases.
Certified Hosting offers transfer support and should help you transfer your files and databases.
Yes, five different SSL packages are offered.
Even the entry-level shared plans offer unlimited bandwidth and storage, so they might work if you don’t get too much traffic or need more storage.
Yes, the host offers Magento hosting plans and provides free migration of your Magento website.
Certified Hosting uses cPanel on its shared hosting plans.
The company accepts Visa, American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Amazon Payments, PayPal and Bitcoin.
Certified Hosting has a 99.999% uptime guarantee and credits users for outages exceeding 4 hours.
There is no word on any special security features.
Yes. Certified Hosting employs a Content Delivery Network (CDN) as an optional add-on.
Yes, monthly payments are available, as well as quarterly, semiannual, annual, biennial and 3-year terms.
Yes. You can get ID protection as an option.
The host advises users to back-up data on their own, as it does not guarantee data protection.
All plans except the entry-level Dork plan support unlimited domains, so it all depends on the feature set you need, i.e. dedicated IP, private SSL and so on.
Shared plans do not mention any limitations on the number of email addresses and storage.
Certified Hosting has a brief explanation of its unlimited policy, and there are a few caveats. However, as long as your site does not start adversely affecting other users, you should be in the clear.
Various discounts and promo codes are available.
Certified Hosting used to give away $100-worth of Google Adwords credit, but this discount is no longer available.
Not really. Shared plans are out of the question, although some dedicated servers might work – provided you invest in extra storage.
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