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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.
Dotster Hosting Plans
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.
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.
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.
Dotster 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.
Dotster 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.
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.
Dotster 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.
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.
|Hosting Plan||Disk Space||Bandwidth||Price|
|Linux Basic||10GB||300GB||$5.35/month||View Plan|
|Linux Deluxe||100GB||1500GB||$8.14/month||View Plan|
|Linux Ultra||200GB||2000GB||$14.87/month||View Plan|
|Windows Basic||10GB||300GB||$6.28/month||View Plan|
|Windows Deluxe||100GB||1500GB||$8.79/month||View Plan|
|Windows Ultra||200GB||2000GB||$16.69/month||View Plan|
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