- Unlimited Disk Space
- Unlimited Transfer
- Unlimited Hosted Domains
- Free Site Builder
- Green Hosting
- 100% Uptime Guarantee
ThinkHost is now a part of DreamHost, a well-known hosting brand. Staff are spread across three continents, although the company’s mailing address is in Portland, Oregon in the US. Founder Vladislav Davidzon currently serves as Executive Director.
ThinkHost also focuses on providing hosting for non-profit organisations and small businesses, giving it a narrower outlook than DreamHost. It offers free or discounted hosting to certain groups, although they must be based in the US to take advantage of that; there are no specific details of its discounted plans on the website.
ThinkHost Hosting Plans
ThinkHost offers one plan, aptly named The Plan. It offers unlimited space, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited databases and the capacity to host unlimited domains. Across the board, the features of The Plan are broadly similar to other shared Linux plans offered by many providers. The only real difference is the lack of a branded control panel; users are not offered cPanel or Plesk; instead, they have to use a custom control panel.
ThinkHost claims to be carbon neutral and plants a tree for each new customer that signs up. It does not offer any information about how its data centre is run or how its energy is sourced, beyond the fact that it’s powered by wind and solar power. For a host built on green claims, it really needs to be a little more specific.
ThinkHost offers customers a very admirable 100% uptime guarantee, but its terms aren’t that favourable when you examine the small print as the amount customers can claim is limited.
Users are credited one free day of hosting for every hour of downtime, up to a maximum of 10% per month. In real terms, that means you won’t be able to claim more than three days’ credit (i.e. 10% of 30 days).
Despite the fact that ThinkHost is proud of its green credentials, it doesn’t offer any further information on its data centre - the location, the technology used or the reasons why it’s so environmentally friendly. There is a lot of content about the importance of being environmentally and socially aware, but not many facts or case studies to reinforce these claims.
ThinkHost’s team is based all over the world. Support is not provided via telephone or live chat. Instead, customers have to use a ticketing system.
There’s also a FAQ and a network status blog on the ThinkHost site. The company’s knowledge base and support portal is quite unattractive and appears to be in desperate need of some work. There are barely any screenshots to make the content easy to follow, and much of the help is quite basic.
ThinkHost in the News
There don’t appear to be any major news reports in the archives relating to ThinkHost.
ThinkHost Control Panel
All ThinkHost customers on its Plan must use a custom control panel. There are no screenshots or demos on the website to tell us what the control panel looks like, but it appears to be unique to ThinkHost.
New ThinkHost customers are treated to free scripts for their new website, anti virus and spam filtering, web design templates and a bundle of shareware, eBooks and videos. Note that some of the contents of the bundle are simply trial versions of the product and must be purchased separately, although discount vouchers are included.
ThinkHost Money Back Guarantee / Cancellation Policy
Customers can take advantage of ThinkHost’s 14-day uptime guarantee if they’re not happy with their hosting package. This gives you a valuable chance to try out the control panel software before committing over the longer term.
To claim a refund under this guarantee, customers simply need to ask for their account to be closed within 14 days of signing up. The cost of domain registrations isn’t included in the refund policy.
ThinkHost has an admirable commitment to ethical, eco-friendly hosting, and it appears to be genuine in its aims and beliefs. There are no real details about its green hosting credentials, though, and it’s not clear whether the company does anything innovative to ensure its policy is met. Many large hosts purchase renewable energy credits (RECs); if this is also ThinkHost’s strategy, it’s not as unique as it may seem at first glance.
Although its single shared Linux hosting plan is perfectly respectable, the real concern with ThinkHost is the custom control panel and the poor quality support material. There’s also no telephone line for support, and no live chat, which markedly impacts its competitiveness.
If you’re in the US and you run a non-profit group, ThinkHost could provide basic (possibly discounted) webspace, and that’s a valuable plus. Small businesses would really be better off looking for a host that’s a little more rounded.
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