Last updated: December 29, 2018
Certified Hosting: Read Our Expert Opinion and Customer Reviews
Certified Hosting Introduction
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 datacenter 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 specializes 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 licenses 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 dedicated 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 optimized 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 datacenters. 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 datacenters 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 emphasize 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 Reviews by Our Community
Overall Rating from 2 Reviews by Certified Hosting Customers
Most Helpful Reviews
Most Popular Certified Hosting Plans
|SH 100||SH 300||SH 500|
|Price||$3.95 / mo||$5.95 / mo||$9.95 / mo|
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|50GB||500GB||$17.96 / mo Visit Host|
|90GB||900GB||$31.46 / mo Visit Host|
|130GB||1100GB||$44.96 / mo Visit Host|
|170GB||1300GB||$74.95 / mo Visit Host|
|200GB||1500GB||$89.96 / mo Visit Host|
Certified Hosting Frequently Asked Questions
- Does Certified Hosting offer Windows Hosting plans?
Currently, Certified Hosting focuses only on offering Linux Hosting plans that run on Apache Servers with MySQL and PHP.
- Are there any hidden fees in the plans?
Sometimes customers can get great deals on hosting from Certified Hosting through coupons and discount codes.
However, customers should be aware that the discounted pricing is only available for the year they purchase the plan. Once the plan is renewed, the base price is charged.
Customers should also be mindful of bandwidth usage for dedicated servers since extra fees will be applied for exceeding the data transfer limits.
- What kind of plans does Certified Hosting offer?
Currently, they offer shared, reseller, and dedicated hosting plans.
The shared and reseller plans offer unlimited bandwidth and disk space. Dedicated servers allow customers to have their own server with a set amount RAM, disk space, and monthly data transfer allowance.
They do not offer VPS plans.
- Is a free domain available with a hosting plan?
Customers selecting a hosting plan for 1, 2, or 3 year terms will get a free domain.
Certified Hosting also offers a free domain for life plan but it requires that the hosting plan be renewed on time. When you register a domain, it is possible to get ID Protection as an option which gives you whois domain privacy.
- What security features does Certified Hosting support?
Though the company monitors its servers 24/7 for issues, Certified Hosting does not appear to have any additional security features such as DDoS protection.
- How does Certified Hosting bill its customers?
Depending on the plan selected, customers can choose to get billed monthly at a minimum and up to 3 years at a maximum.
The company accepts multiple payment methods including PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and BitCoin.
It is also possible for customers to get discounts on plans based on various promotions advertised on Certified Hosting’s “Current Special/Promo” page.
- Do Certified Hosting plans support multiple websites?
Customers can host multiple websites with many of the shared and reseller hosting plans. Only their Dork shared hosting plan is limited to a single domain.
- What money back guarantee does Certified Hosting offer?
Certified Hosting offers its customers a no questions asked money back guarantee. Customers can cancel a plan and get a prorated amount back except for things like setup fees.
For example, customers that request a refund for plans that include SSL Certificates and domain registration will only get a refund that deducts these fees.
- Does Certified Hosting have a customer support hotline?
Customers based in North America can call a toll-free number anytime during the day to get support.
For international customers, a global support line is also available.
Since Certified Hosting is a US company headquartered in Grand Terrace, California, its customer service is only available in English.
- Where are Certified Hosting’s datacenters located?
The company operates datacenters in a number of locations in the US and Europe including Phoenix, Arizona; Atlanta, Georgia; and Amsterdam.
Its datacenters have a number of great features including redundant power supplies and high-speed communications provided by Tier 1 network providers.
Besides using datacenters, Certified Hosting employs the use of CDNs (Content Delivery Networks).
- What is Certified Hosting’s uptime guarantee?
Certified Hosting offers a 99.999% uptime guarantee for its plans. For more details on potential credits for downtime experienced, please contact customer service.
- Am I able to transfer my existing websites from another host?
Certified Hosting will help customers transfer their domains and website files from their current host at no extra charge.
The company just needs information on the previous host’s IP address along with cPanel or FTP login information.
Though the transfers are hassle free, customers should be aware that there are no guarantees that the data will be fully transferred.
- What tools does Certified Hosting offer for those with little or no development experience?
With plans from Certified Hosting, customers can easily set up their website through one-click installs via cPanel, the control panel for all plans.
The single click installs support a number of commonly used platforms such as WordPress, Joomla, and OpenCart.
With these scripts, customers can create a simple blog, portfolio site, or ecommerce store.
- What ecommerce support does Certified Hosting provide?
For ecommerce, the company sells various SSL certificates on their website. They also provide support for a number of shopping cart platforms including Magento, Agora, OpenCart, and OS Commerce even on all shared hosting plans.
- What programming and scripting languages does Certified Hosting support?
The company supports many different programming languages used for the web including Python, PHP, Perl, and Ruby on Rails.
They also provide access to CGI. Certified Hosting supports a number of PHP versions including PHP 5 as well as a few specialized libraries and modules such as Curl and CPAN.
- Does Certified Hosting offer automatic backups?
The company does not state that it performs regular backups on website data and does not offer any specific plans. Therefore, it is highly recommended that customers make their own backups to ensure that important data is not lost.
- Are there any caveats to Certified Hosting’s unlimited policy?
Certified Hosting offers an unlimited policy where you don’t have to worry about data usage for its shared and reseller plans as long as your website does not become a resource hog and cause issues for other users.
- Does Certified Hosting support hosting a big image library?
Since many of the plans offer unlimited bandwidth and storage, it is possible to store a large image library. But there are limits as discussed above.
- Does the company support video or audio streaming?
Though there are no specific plans targeting streaming, customers should consider dedicated servers if they want to do video or audio streaming.
- Does Certified Hosting have an affiliate program?
Yes, the company an affiliate program that offers $65 to $125 per sale.