Last updated: August 16, 2008
FastDomain IntroductionFastDomain is a shared web hosting company based in the US. The company was founded in 2005 and is a sister company to BlueHost and HostMonster due to its status as an Endurance International Group company. The Endurance International Group is a massive web hosting company with nearly 3 million customers using various services and brands. The FastDomain website is entirely focused on getting customers up and running quickly with as little fuss as possible, so simplicity is key to its single shared hosting plan. FastDomain Hosting Plans The FastDomain shared hosting plan is based on Linux operating systems. Customers can choose between 12, 24 and 36 month contracts, with the longest contract being the cheapest. The plan is called ‘The Complete Solution’ and customers are provided with unlimited disk space, bandwidth, POP3 email accounts and can host unlimited domains, sub-domains and MySQL databases. There is only one shared hosting plan visible on the FastDomain website, but customers can choose to upgrade to a Pro package when they sign up. This provides additional server resources, access to a SSL Certificate, a dedicated IP address and free domain privacy. FastDomain does not offer reseller, VPS or dedicated server hosting, but there is an affiliate program for those who wish to earn money through referrals. Once customers have signed up to FastDomain they can purchase a range of add-on features for their site including SSL certificates, a dedicated IP address, a SiteLock, a mobile site builder and site backup tools. FastDomain Uptime/Downtime FastDomain indicates that its customers can depend on the maximum guaranteed uptime, but the ‘maximum guaranteed’ figure isn’t actually specified. This is fairly standard for an Endurance International Group brand: I’ve found that many don’t specify a guarantee. There is a Server Uptime Agreement mentioned in the knowledge base, but not in the terms of service, so it is not clear whether this is still available. The Server Uptime Agreement indicated that should customers leave because of server downtime, they wouldn’t have to pay for the remaining term of their agreement. FastDomain Support FastDomain provides a wide range of support options for its customers. These include a knowledge base, a getting started wizard,a server status page and video how-to guides for self help purposes. Customer support teams are available 24 hours a day through an email/ticketing system, live chat facility and a toll free phone line. There is also an international number for non-US based customers. Beyond the in-house support facilities, FastDomain has a Facebook page and a Twitter feed, but these are rarely used. Customers shouldn’t rely on social media for support. FastDomain in the News FastDomain have not made any waves, and there’s no negative press in the most prominent tech news blogs. This suggests that the company’s services are relatively stable and reliable. FastDomain Control Panel FastDomain hosting accounts come with a branded version of cPanel for customers to manage and administer their websites. This control panel is widely used by web hosting companies and should be familiar to most customers who have had hosting plans before. There is also a free demo on the FastDomain website where customers can take a look around the control panel and see its features before they sign up. FastDomain Extras Sign up for a web hosting plan with FastDomain and you’ll be given a free domain name registration for a year. You’ll also receive vouchers for Facebook and Bing/Yahoo! marketing credits. There is a free search engine submission feature and customers can also install CloudFlare for free. The shared hosting supports WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Perl, Python, Ruby on Rails and more commonly-used scripts and applications. FastDomain Money Back Guarantee / Cancellation Policy FastDomain has a 30-day money-back guarantee to reassure its customers of a good quality service. The policy is split into two parts: the 3-day guarantee and the 3 to 30-day guarantee. If the customer cancels within 3 days, they do not have to retain the free domain name; if they do, this is deductable from the refund. After 3 days, all domain name registration costs are non-refundable. Add on fees such as SSL Certificates and dedicated IP address are not refundable either. FastDomain Summary Due to the simplicity of the single FastDomain hosting plan, it stands out from the majority of other hosting companies which offer more choice and, some might say, more confusing options. This can be seen as FastDomain’s strength, in a way: its focus is clearly on getting people up and running with as little hassle as possible. The money-back guarantee is a standard 30 days, but the added security of not having to pay for a free domain name if the customer cancels within 3 days offers a little more security than most other hosting plans. Shared hosting with FastDomain will suit both newcomers to web hosting and existing shared hosting customers who are looking to make a quick switch in provider. However, medium and large sized organisations looking for more robust hosting capabilities will want to look elsewhere.
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FastDomain Frequently Asked Questions
- Does FastDomain offer Windows based hosting plans?
FastDomain has a number of shared hosting plans that currently focus on Linux.
- Will FastDomain’s introductory hosting prices apply when I renew?
FastDomain offers its first time customers initial rates that are discounted. Once the plan is renewed, regular rates will apply.
- Does FastDomain offer any dedicated server or VPS hosting plans?
Currently, the company does not offer any dedicated server or VPS hosting plans. It is focused on shared hosting services.
- Are domain registration services offered by FastDomain?
FastDomain only registers domains as part of its hosting packages. Customers must select a plan that is at least a year long, which will entitle them to free domain registration.
- What are the payment terms for plans from FastDomain?
FastDomain offers a couple of payment schedules, ranging from yearly plans to triennial plans. Mulitple payment methods are available including PayPal and major credit cards such as MasterCard and Visa.
- Does FastDomain have a money-back guarantee?
FastDomain offers its customers a 30 day money-back guarantee. Customers will get a full refund if they cancel within the first 30 days. They will receive a pro-rated refund after the initial trial period.
The refund does not include fees charged during signup such as domain registration.
- What support can I expect from FastDomain?
Customers facing issues with their hosting plan can get support from FastDomain 24/7 using a toll free number for calls placed within the US.
For customers outside the US, there is a global phone number available.
Besides phone support, customers can send an email or engage in live chat with support personnel.
Customers can also take a look at the knowledgebase to help resolve issues on their own.
- Are the plan’s unlimited disk space and bandwidth really unlimited?
FastDomain will not charge customers extra based on the amount of bandwidth or disk space used.
However, a server is a shared resource and must not interrupt normal operations.
If a customer breaches the normal limits, based on the company’s statistical analysis, then FastDomain will request the customer to reduce usage. The company attempts to send a notice at least 48 hours in advance.
- What programming languages are supported by FastDomain?
FastDomain supports a number of programming languages used throughout the web including PHP, Perl, Python, and Ruby.
- Can FastDomain help me transfer a domain or website from another hosting company?
Even though domain transfers are available with support, there is no mention of getting support or help to transfer files from a former host to FastDomain. It appears that the customer will have to conduct their own research to complete the transfers.
- Will FastDomain allow more than one domain per account?
FastDomain’s shared plans allows for unlimited domains. Since no limitations are placed on disk space or bandwidth, it is possible to host multiple websites from a single account.
- What email features does FastDomain’s hosting have?
FastDomain allows its customers to have an unlimited number of email accounts. They also include multiple web based interfaces, POP3 and IMAP support, and an unlimited number of auto-responders.
- Do they provide a control panel?
Yes, FastDomain provides its customers with the industry standard cPanel control panel to help their customers administer their websites.
- Are backup services provided by FastDomain?
FastDomain provides an automatic backup service that takes place on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
Since these are not guaranteed, FastDomain recommends that customers create their own backups.
Some potential tools customers can take a look at are the Site Backup and Restore tools from cPanel or popular FTP clients like FileZilla.
- Are there features provided by FastDomain that make their servers more secure?
The company does not offer any additional security features or plans for its customers.
However, the company mentions that it utilizes password protected directories, PGP/GPG encryption, and an SSL secured server.
A SpamAssassin tool is also available to help customers manage spam emails.
- With little coding experience, how can I easily start a blog or simple website with FastDomain?
You can use the one-click installs that include scripts like WordPress and Joomla! to quickly create web pages or a blog.
There is also a Weebly Site Builder available that allows you to create websites with an easy-to-use drag and drop interface.
- Can I setup an online store using the tools provided by FastDomain?
Since it is possible to set up a shopping cart and store through scripts such as OpenCart or OSCommerce, it is possible to setup an ecommerce website.
According to the company’s help center, it is also possible to acquire and configure an SSL certificate.
Both of these features enable you to setup an online store.
- Does FastDomain provide an uptime guarantee?
Though the company strives to provide the best service possible, it does not make a promise regarding uptime nor will it give compensation for any downtime experienced.
- Do the FastDomain plans accommodate an image intensive website?
Since the company does not limit the bandwidth or the disk space, the plans are well-suited for sites with a large number of images.
- Does FastDomain support video streaming sites?
According to the list of features in the shared plans, FastDomain supports both video and audio streaming. However, users should beware of the bandwidth usage policies since video streaming can take up a lot of server resources.
- Does FastDomain offer an affiliate program?
FastDomain offers an affiliate program that pays up to $65 per referral. There is no fee to sign up for the program and once you sign up, you will get a tracking code to help FastDomain track you and the customers that register.