Dotster Review: 'Hosting You Can Trust'? We Find Out The Facts For You.

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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.

Dotster Reviews by Our Community

Overall Rating from 24 Reviews by Dotster Customers


Most Helpful Reviews

kelly smith avatar
kelly smith
Oct 22, 2018

Awful service and customer support. I have opened 2 cases with them just so I can transfer a domain. They were unable to resolve the cases!

And after a week I called them to find out what was going on, and it seemed that they had forgotten about them! Awful customer support.

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Nick Tee avatar
Nick Tee
Jun 30, 2018

I have been using Dotster for at least 8 years during which time I have owned approximately 70+ domain names and only used them for purchasing and sitting on those domains. During that time I have only used 2 of those domains. However, when they started to become less than competitive with their renewal pricing I decided to move and that was when I started to encounter Real frustration at the difficulty I encountered trying to transfer domains away from them.

The .COM, .NET and .ORG domains were not so problematic except that once transferred and confirmed with the new company, it was impossible to remove them from my Dotster dashboards necessitating repeated calls to their Tech Support. Several calls and 2 months later I am still waiting. The Second major problem I discovered was when I tried to transfer the newer domains like .Help, .Education, .Online, .Today, .Loan and similar.

It was then that I investigated what was going on and discovered that these domains are not actually controlled by Dotster and appeared to require the assistance of third-party companies that appear to control these domains. In other words, simple automated transfers appear to be virtually impossible because Dotsters technology is sadly Very lacking. I have only tried to transfer several of these so far, and each one has been continually rejected by the Dotster system.

After trying each three times I decided to give up, and have left all these to do as the last job in the weeks ahead. I am not looking forward to attempting this because I know it is going to be an absolute Nightmare. In my opinion, Dotster should not be selling any domain that they do not have the ability to absolutely control with their technology, OR they should be warning customers in advance.

Finally what really appals me - and completely blows me away, is that even here on this site the majority of reviews about Dotster have overwhelmingly Terrible for several years. This makes me question how any company can continue trading without responding to customer complaints and doing nothing to improve their reputation? It is a sign They simply do not care.

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Euphrosyne McKenzie avatar
Euphrosyne McKenzie
Jan 23, 2018

Dotster is great as long as you don't need their help. I had a domain with them for years and no issue, but once I did, it took over a month to fix the problem. Customer Service reps basically read/typed from a script.

They avoided questions, repeating the same stock answer over and over again. I felt like they weren't even listening to me as I'd have to repeat myself often. I'd spend hours with them before they'd tell me the issue was fixed and to wait a day or two for it to complete the process - only to have it fail again.

Same error message over and over again. And they offered nothing to compensate for the total waste of my time or for the downtime of my site. I've domains with several different companies and I can honestly say I Will never use dotster again!

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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.

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.


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 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.


Dotster's services are relatively standard and offer little innovation, even when compared to other Endurance International Group brands such as 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.
Linux BasicWindows BasicLinux Deluxe
Disk SpaceUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Price $3.75 / mo
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$4.75 / mo
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$6.75 / mo
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PlanDisk SpaceBandwidthPrice
Windows Deluxe
UnlimitedUnlimited $7.75 / mo Visit Host Now
Linux Ultra
UnlimitedUnlimited $13.75 / mo Visit Host Now
Windows Ultra
UnlimitedUnlimited $14.75 / mo Visit Host Now
Standard VPS
20GB1000GB $29.70 / mo Visit Host Now
40GB1500GB $41.60 / mo Visit Host Now
Premium VPS
60GB2000GB $67.95 / mo Visit Host Now
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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.

    Not included are 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.

Claire Broadley

About Claire Broadley

Claire has been creating websites for over 20 years and has been using WordPress for over ten. She is an expert in web hosting, design, HTML, and more. She lives with her husband and son in the United Kingdom.

Connect with Claire

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