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Dotster

20 Reviews
Last reviewed Apr 7, 2015Add your review

Key Features

  • PHP
  • Uptime Guarantee
  • MySQL
  • cPanel
  • Linux
  • Python

User Reviews - Total: 20

1 stars
Support
1 stars
Features
1 stars
Uptime
1 stars
Value
1 stars

Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Dotster has done a great job of successfully cutting my web business to a dead end. I have been off line for several days, it could be closer to two weeks because of emails I am now receiving from people asking why they cannot access my website. I have tried to get Dotster to get this problem taken care of. I have been shut out of my admin because I cannot remember the password and they are simply supposed to send me an email. I sent a copy of my license, which they requested and I am now dreading that I did this for fraudulent reasons. I am going to contact my State Attorney General's office because this smells like fraud and I am at a loss as to how to get my information for a domain name that I own. This is the worst thing I have ever had to deal with in my business, ever. If I hear of any class-action suits against Dotster, I will join it immediately.

 
2 stars
Support
2 stars
Features
2 stars
Uptime
3 stars
Value
1 stars

Was this review helpful? Yes | No

I had a domain set to manual renewal, which I confirmed a couple times as it got closer to the expiration date. I had decided that I would let it expire, but got a notice from Dotster that they had automatically renewed it. When I got the renewal notice, I went in again to confirm it was set to manual renewal and then contacted them about the error and requested a refund. Their reply to me stated that the domain was set to automatically renew and that they couldn't do anything about the charge once it had been processed, but that they had set the domain to manual so it wouldn't happen again.

Now I get to start dealing with the credit card company to deny the charge.

 
5 stars
Support
5 stars
Features
4 stars
Uptime
5 stars
Value
5 stars

Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Dotster is my first hosting service
awesome support
goood features and tools which makes me easy to use
till i dint faced any server down problem even with 500+ on real time
dotster deluxe hosting is worth of money

 
2.5 stars
Support
1 stars
Features
3 stars
Uptime
4 stars
Value
1 stars

Was this review helpful? Yes | No

They hosted my website for 4 years. They are very inexpensive, and you get what you pay for. They have overbilled me 3 times in the last 4 years. I left them last year, and a few months back they decided to charge me for another year of billing. For the last 3 months I have been trying to get them to reverse the charges - they claim they never charged me, but VISA says they did. I have finally cancelled my VISA card so they can't do any further damage in the coming years.

 
1 stars
Support
1 stars
Features
1 stars
Uptime
1 stars
Value
1 stars

Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Well I can only say I wish I had read other reviews fully before I signed up to them. They are awful for the reasons below.

I signed up with them and could not login, it kept resetting the password, instead of helping their support is a script they just paste, they do not seem to even read your actual problem. I eventually reset it for 5th time and it seemed to have stuck (without any help from their support).

Then the ftp does not work (and they do not have cpanel also by the way which is really bad), their file manager is an absolute joke.
I tried to log in using coreftp and then filezilla, reset the password so many times, asked support for help and again got a script send to me telling me to login with my password (what do they think i was loggin in with???) this has gone on for about 5 days, no way to upload files except one by one in their crap file manager, at this stage of 5 days on and clearly I would be afraid having any website with them I have requested a refund.

All I can say is if you want a hosting with barely any features, plenty of downtime or a server that does not fuction and support who simply do not help then by all means go with them!

I have requested cancellation and will go back to TMDhosting who are actually very good. I wont try save a few pennies again.

 
1 stars
Support
1 stars
Features
1 stars
Uptime
1 stars
Value
1 stars

Was this review helpful? Yes | No

This is the absolutely the WORST hosting company. I've made a mistake to host my business'es website and email with them. Recently, after vacation, checked my email, it turned out that they've changed nameservers and didn't update them in my account, so emails were not even routing to my box. All they did is gave me the warning, saying my emails aren't routing and I need to update my nameservers. Have been unfortunate to work with them for awhile, this type of issues (when business email stops working) happens with them all the time. I'm changing provider ASAP. Do yourself a favor, don't choose dotster as your hosting provider.

 
1 stars
Support
1 stars
Features
1 stars
Uptime
1 stars
Value
1 stars

Was this review helpful? Yes | No

The email serve is slow, sometimes I can't open it, it does all kind of weird things when I do use it. It's the worst email service I have ever had.

 
1 stars
Support
1 stars
Features
1 stars
Uptime
1 stars
Value
1 stars

Was this review helpful? Yes | No

The absolute worst UI experience from a domain. Dotster needs to focus on making these easy like other providers, was referred to them via .co and they are the absolute worst

 
2.5 stars
Support
1 stars
Features
3 stars
Uptime
4 stars
Value
2 stars

Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Dotster.com SUCKS !! and I can say that for sure because I had an account with them. The main problem was that they were very slow starting from the support and ending with the hosting. Their support system sucks, my webmails were not working properly so I called them up and told them about the problem they promised that the problem would be solved within 12 hours but even after 4 days it was not corrected, every time I told them about this they said the same thing but there was no improvement in the situation and I lost lots of money with them and so I had no choice and so I had to give up that hosting service and so now I am hosting my website on a free web host so that I will not suffer any loss further.
And so I will never recommend them to anyone.

DOTSTER SUCKS !!

 
2 stars
Support
1 stars
Features
2 stars
Uptime
3 stars
Value
2 stars

Was this review helpful? Yes | No

One of the all time worst companies I have ever dealt with. They continue to bill my credit card for services cancelled years ago and it take several emails to resolve. This time they cancelled my entire account making my domains untranferrable as I am unable to open tickets and have to call their support line which so far has never been anything other than infinite hold music.

 
1 stars
Support
1 stars
Features
1 stars
Uptime
1 stars
Value
1 stars

Was this review helpful? Yes | No

They are the WORST!!! Customer support is as though you are dealing with an outsourced company handling customer complaints from a multiple companies, ie: car rentals... the verbiage is scripted as far as the response. they tell you that they will call you back and never has that occurred. We (as a company) house many internet engineers, and after (regretfully) advertising this experience with dotster to them was met with "what were you thinking, going with them!!". Worst experience of my IT career as far as domain hosting period.

 
3.5 stars
Support
4 stars
Features
3 stars
Uptime
5 stars
Value
2 stars

Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Dotster is a pretty flexible and easy to use web host provider. But, like any other thing around, there's the upsides and the downsides.
There are by far more upsides than downsides, but listed they must be.

For begginers, it's a very efficient, fast, and easy to use host. With its intigrated domain registration and lots of disk space, it's great for small to large scale businesses. Forster has great uptime and lots of tools to help build and maintain a thriving website.

There are a few improvements that could be made, though. After purchasing and setting up a domain, it is a little difficult to change the nameservers or zone records, for if you would like to change web hosts. Also, their prices are a little high for the service that they provide. Many other webservers offer hosting for as low as $1 per month.

Overall, Dotster is a great web host provider that includes many tools and an easy to use and eye-friendly website. It's prices may be high for its capabilities, but would be rated as a 4 out of 5 star web host.

 
3.5 stars
Support
1 stars
Features
5 stars
Uptime
5 stars
Value
2 stars

Was this review helpful? Yes | No

After using Dotster for many years I have had 2 major problems with them this year.

Firstly a domain that I had registered until 2015 stopped working and the control panel shows an expiry date of March 6 2013 and despite Dotster support acknowledging that the domain is registered until 2015 via a phone call, the control panel is still showing expired and from follow up phone calls they are asking for a further 2 years registration to fix the problem.

Secondly another domain showed registered in my control panel until 2014 and when the web site stopped working I found it had been registered by a Chinese company and is for dale at domain.de. After complaining Dotster refunded my money but I have lost the domain through no fault of my own.

Furthermore Afilias registery services have the following to say:

Thank you for contacting Afilias Technical Support.

Please be advised that the registrar 'Dotster' is no longer accredited as a registrar under ICANN. As such, they are not active in selling .INFO domains, as of May 30, 2012. We are forwarding your email to the gaining entity to see if there is anything they can do to assist you.

 
1 stars
Support
1 stars
Features
1 stars
Uptime
1 stars
Value
1 stars

Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Customer service was horrible, instead of saving a customer that was paying $29.95 a month from fortunecity, they tried to discount the service to $34.00 for one time. It sounds good but the horrible customer service that I had to deal with was not worth the $34.00. Dotster had been collecting the $29.95 for over three years but I was still able to use my package from fortunecity. But when I was unable to utilize my package with fortunecity because they were going out of business, Dotster still wanted to charge me a discounted fee for one year. What about the months I paid and had no service? The fact that I paid $29.95 to have my domain parked on their server each month and they collected the overcharge, that was definitely my fault. But when I called Dotster on the problem, they wanted to discount my amount. As a business owner, I thought it was a good gesture but not sufficient. If that was the best they had to offer, I said leave it. Dotster can chalk this loss up to horrible customer service and a bad discount. Still trying to make a dollar off of a customer that had been paying for no real service except that the website was still working, due to fortunecity. I would never recommend their services to my worst enemy.

 
1.5 stars
Support
1 stars
Features
2 stars
Uptime
2 stars
Value
1 stars

Was this review helpful? Yes | No

I was automatically transferred to Dotster when they bought my former registrar NameZero.

After a while I suddenly realized emails where no longer getting through any of my domains. Dotster provided no previous warning and the support on the issue was non-existent. I was getting 404-pages constantly in the control panel. Couldn't change any settings to correct the errors.

I'm now trying to move away from this joke of a company. Problem is, i have whois-privacy enabled since the time with NameZero and now I can't update the contact details myself, so i'm waiting for Dotster support to take care of it.

It's been several weeks, calls, emails, tweets and support tickets - still nothing!

I don't wish my worst enemy this hell that is being stuck with the non-existent support of Dotster.

Please be adviced - stay away from these clowns, they're the worst in the business - all categories!

 
1 stars
Support
1 stars
Features
1 stars
Uptime
1 stars
Value
1 stars

Was this review helpful? Yes | No

My sincere advise is never use the service of dotster. I've around 62 websites hosted in both linux and windows servers of dotster and all these websites were offline from 10 Jan 2013 due to server migration and no one cared to rectify the errors and make the sites live even after repeated support requests, till today (18 Jan 2013). My business is ruined as all the websites were out of the search results and lost all my customers because of my bouncing emails !!!! So never use the service of dotster if you're running an online business !!!!

 
1 stars
Support
1 stars
Features
1 stars
Uptime
1 stars
Value
1 stars

Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Zero customer service, our whole website/e-mails went down for a week any they did nothing to solve it. No response to e-mails, online help and their telephone hours are short and inadequate. We since moved to another server and even getting all our data from them took two weeks. I cannot recommend enough that you never consider using this company, they are just awful.

 
2.5 stars
Support
1 stars
Features
3 stars
Uptime
4 stars
Value
1 stars

Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Dotster has no customer support. Period. Their interface, their uptime, their stability, all are at least on par with other companies. But if you have any issue, even the tiniest question, expect to pay $30.00 a month for "Premium Support" if you want an answer. Their customer support went from "excellent" 5 years ago, to "sporadic" a few years ago, and now you are lucky if you get ANY answer from their lowest-tier support. This means even the simplest issue will be answered either days (or weeks) later by a link to the FAQ you looked up before you asked the question, or your trouble ticket will remain open and unacknowledged unless the issue resolves itself.

As mentioned, Dotster now offers a "premium support" option for a healthy fee, so if you are willing to pay for the privilege of the most basic customer service, then your experience with Dotster might be bearable. But if not, just remember you are on your own against an automated trouble ticket system that might have well been designed by Kafka. There are plenty other companies out there with comparable services and more competitive prices that actually acknowledge the existence of their customers. I would strongly advise anyone considering Dotster to look elsewhere. Save your cash and your sanity and avoide this company like the plague.

 
1.5 stars
Support
1 stars
Features
1 stars
Uptime
1 stars
Value
3 stars

Was this review helpful? Yes | No

I would not suggest Dotster. I lost my files and they do not respond my E-mails. They do not keep records in order. For instance, it takes them a while to send the login information.

 
5 stars
Support
5 stars
Features
5 stars
Uptime
5 stars
Value
5 stars

Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Horrible hosting customer support, you get 1 response in 7 days,, and then they "close the case" no important if is resolved or not, then you have to request another Case ID, and all stars from begining, they don't know what you talking about, unable to look up previous convesation, previous case ID !? iz now 3 weeks and cannot their AspMail get to work, unable to send emails from website, first is was banned as spamer then just does not work

 
Dotster logo

Dotster

dotster.com

Dotster Introduction

Dotster is an American web hosting company that is perhaps known best for its domain name registration services. The company was founded in 2000 and can claim having over 3 million domains under management at the time of this review.

Dotster is headquartered in Washington in the USA and is one of the brands owned by the Endurance International Group, who also now run BlueHost, SuperGreen Hosting and PureHost. The Endurance International Group is a massive company that has bought many of the world’s best-known web hosting brands over the last decade.

Hosting Plans

Despite being focused on domain name registration, Dotster also offers web hosting options in the form of Linux-based shared hosting and VPS hosting.

There are three shared hosting plans available to choose from. Customers can choose contracts ranging from between one and three years in length.

  • The Basic hosting plan only allows for one website to be hosted with up to 100 email accounts, 5 FTP logins and 10 MySQL databases. This plan comes with 10 GB disk space and 300 GB monthly bandwidth.
  • The Deluxe hosting plan lifts the limits on domains, disk space and bandwidth, and allows up to 250 email accounts, 25 FTP logins and 25 MySQL databases.
  • The Ultra hosting plan is the maximum service available by lifting the limits on email accounts, FTP logins and databases.

Dotster has three plans for customers who are looking for a VPS hosting service. Each plan offers Linux-based hosting and does not place any limits on domains, MySQL databases or mailboxes.

  • The Standard VPS plan offers 512 MB dedicated RAM, 20 GB disk space and 1000 GB monthly bandwidth.
  • The Pro plan increases the dedicated RAM to 1024 MB, disk space to 40 GB and monthly bandwidth to 1500 GB.
  • The Premium plan is the top end VPS plan available with 2048 MD dedicated RAM, 60 GB disk space and 2000 GB monthly bandwidth.

There is an affiliate program for people wanting to make money through successful domain and hosting referrals. Dotster also offers a web design service and a SEO marketing service for its customers.

Uptime/Downtime

The Dotster website does not make any guarantees about uptime, nor does it have any published uptime statistics. Its servers and held in a secure data centre which utilises HVAC and fully redundant power systems. Data backups and ongoing network optimisation ensure that its services remain stable and reliable.

Support

Dotster customers are provided with a wide range of self help and customers support options. These include a knowledge base, user guides and video tutorials, all available through the online help centre. Customers can also raise support tickets and there is a US-based helpline number to provide 24/7 customer support.

Dotster customers who purchase the Ultra hosting plan can also purchase a premium support package as an add-on to their basic hosting plan. This guarantees access to the most experienced support technicians, a toll-free helpline and faster support response times.

There are both Facebook and Twitter accounts maintained by Dotster. Although they are not active on a daily basis, customers do get a response when they reach out using social media. However, it’s worth noting that customers who are experiencing problems are referred to the support ticketing system or phone line as the first point of call.

In the News

Despite being in operation for over a decade there are no articles, good or bad, relating to Dotster on major news blogs or technology websites.

Control Panel

Whilst Dotster’s VPS hosting customers get the familiar cPanel/WHM for their website administration needs, its shared hosting customers are provided with a custom control panel.

The custom panel is comparable to cPanel, so experienced users shouldn’t have too much difficulty adjusting to it. Dotster provides a useful video tour and video tutorial for customers to get to know the custom control panel.

Extras

Dotster’s shared hosting customers get a range of free marketing tools to help them get started. These include Google Adwords credits, Yahoo!/Bing search marketing credits, Facebook credits, a free Yellowpages.com listing, a free US based toll-free phone number and Google Webmaster tools.

Dotster’s hosting supports Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla, PHP-Nuke, TikiWiki, Perl, Python and more. There is also a free drag-and-drop site building tool for people who don’t feel confident building a site from scratch.

Hosting with Dotster is also eco-friendly and the company makes use of high efficiency servers to reduce the power consumption at its data centre. The company is involved in a range of programs to offset its carbon footprint as well.

This includes purchasing 150% renewable energy credits and planting trees for every new customer. These schemes allow the company to provide its customers with eco-friendly hosting badges to display on their own websites.

Money Back Guarantee / Cancellation Policy

Whilst a money-back guarantee is not advertised on the Dotster site, its Terms and Conditions document does refer to a 30-day money-back guarantee. The money-back guarantee promises a refund of hosting fees if the customer cancels within the first 30 days of their term. The refund does not include domain registration fees and the cost of other add-on services.

Customers who cancel their hosting before the end of the agreed term may or may not be charged for the full contract.

This is at Dotster’s discretion and there doesn’t appear to be any details on how they would decide to charge the customer for the remaining term of the contract. This seems to be a fairly typical clause in contracts provided by the Endurance International Group.

Summary

Dotster’s services are relatively standard and offer little innovation, even when compared to other Endurance International Group brands such as Domain.com. This may discourage some customers who are looking to switch hosting from an existing Endurance International Group provider, but people with basic needs may not be too concerned.

Last updated: 2017-07-30

Dotster Hosting Plans

Hosting Plan Features Disk Space Bandwidth Price
Linux Basic PHP Python Linux cPanel MySQL Uptime Guarantee Unlimited Unlimited $3.75/month
Usual price:
Linux Deluxe WordPress PHP Python Linux cPanel Perl Unlimited Unlimited $6.75/month
Usual price:
Linux Ultra WordPress PHP Python Linux cPanel Perl Unlimited Unlimited $13.75/month
Usual price:
Windows Basic WordPress PHP Perl MySQL Uptime Guarantee AspPDF Unlimited Unlimited $4.75/month
Usual price:
Windows Deluxe WordPress PHP Perl MySQL Uptime Guarantee AspPDF Unlimited Unlimited $7.75/month
Usual price:
Windows Ultra WordPress PHP Perl MySQL Uptime Guarantee AspPDF Unlimited Unlimited $14.75/month
Usual price:
Standard VPS PHP WHM CentOS Python Linux cPanel 20GB 1000GB $29.70/month
Usual price:
Pro VPS PHP WHM CentOS Python Linux cPanel 40GB 1500GB $41.60/month
Usual price:
Premium VPS PHP WHM CentOS Python Linux cPanel 60GB 2000GB $67.95/month
Usual price:

Dotster Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does Dotster offer both Linux and Windows hosting?

    Yes. Dotsters offers both Windows and Linux-based shared hosting. Their VPS servers are all Linux based (CentOS), however.

  • What hosting products does Dotster offer?

    Dotster offers shared and VPS hosting in a range of tiers. Generally, more expensive tiers have more databases and email accounts with a few other perks. See Dotster’s website for a full breakdown.

  • Will Dotster help me migrate my site?

    Yes, but it will come with a one off additional charge.

  • How can I pay?

    Shared plans are billed up front for between one and three years. For VPS hosting, Dotster bills either monthly or annually.

  • Are there any discounts available?

    Yes. There are regular sales, usually for the first year of hosting. There are no discounts associated with signing a longer contract for shared plans. However, there is a discount for VPS plans if you pay up front rather than month to month.

  • Will my price jump a lot with renewal?

    It's not very likely. While Dotster does run some promotional pricing, they tend to not add in lots of additional extras for free for the first year — the usual culprit to a jumpy renewal price.

  • What sort of applications can I use?

    Dotster uses SimpleScripts to allow one-click installs of various applications. SimpleScripts provides access to hundreds of apps like content management systems (eg, WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla) and ecommerce options (eg, OSCommerce, Magento, CubeCart). SimpleScripts also provides apps for website creation, forums, chat, and wikis. It's included on all plans.

  • Does Dotster offer a money-back guarantee?

    Yes. Some of their policies do have a 30-day money-back guarantee, where you get all the money you spent on the hosting plan back. This excludes fees related to domain registration fees, setup fees, and any added extras. If you want to keep your domain, you'll have to buy it for whatever Dotster paid for it — if you don't want it, Dotster keeps it and you don’t get charged.

  • Does Dotster offer an uptime guarantee?

    No. Dotster does not guarantee a specific uptime in any of their Terms of Service or anywhere else on their website.

  • Can I register a domain with Dotster?

    Yes. They have domain registration services and most plans include a free domain name as part of some promotion. Customers have the option to add on domain privacy as well as other domains to their account.

  • Does Dotster offer unlimited bandwidth and storage?

    Sort of. They do advertise "scalable bandwidth" and "unlimited website disk space." But that's not really the case. Dotster offers a set amount of bandwidth per shared server customer that is high enough that 99.5% of customers never know it's there. However, if your site does begin to use more resources, Dotster retains the right to throttle your traffic. It's a similar story with storage — the limit is high enough it shouldn't matter — however, if you do use your shared server for something banned in the Terms of Service and blow through the threshold, you will likely be cut off.

  • What sort of support does Dotster have?

    Dotster offers live chat, email ticketing, and phone support. They also have premium support included on their higher tier shared plans and available for purchase for their other tiers. Premium support gets you expedited tickets and better phone service. They also have a knowledge center for self-help.

  • What control panel does Dotster use?

    Dotster offers cPanel/WHM access to their VPS servers. Their shared products (Windows or Linux hosting) use vDeck control panel. This is included on all plans.

  • Is there marketing help available?

    Yes. Each Linux shared plan comes with ad credits. However, Windows and VPS hosting doesn’t. They also offer SEO help as an add-on service for a monthly charge.

  • What sort of security does Dotster offer?

    They offer a range of SSL certificates that customers can purchase for an additional charge. They also have SiteLock available for additional purchase.

  • Does Dotster offer backups?

    Yes. They back-up their servers daily and keep the backups for two weeks. They also recommend that customers back-up their sites as well.

  • Where are Dotster's datacenters?

    Dotster's datacenters are in Massachusetts. The company is headquartered in Vancouver, Washington.

  • Do they offer a content delivery network (CDN)?

    Yes. Customers have the option to purchase SiteLock as and additional service.

  • What programming languages are supported?

    They support PHP, Perl, and Python for their Linux shared and VPS servers, and Active Perl and PHP for their Windows hosting.

Dotster Features

All Features

  • Advanced Poll
  • b2evolution
  • Credit Card
  • CubeCart
  • Drupal
  • Email Forwarding
  • File Manager
  • Gallery
  • IMAP Support
  • Joomla
  • Noah's Classifieds
  • PayPal
  • PHP 5
  • Shared Hosting
  • SMTP
  • Tiki Wiki

How does Dotster compare to their competitors?

Overall 2 stars
Support
1.5 stars
Features
2 stars
Uptime
2.5 stars
Value
1.5 stars
Visit Dotster
Overall4 stars

Price Comparison

Dotster$3.75
SiteGround$3.95
BlueHost$2.75
iPage$1.99
InMotion Hosting$2.95
A2 Hosting$3.92

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