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Hear from our web hosting expert, Brenda Barron.
See what 5 Gradwell customers have to say.
Compare the best Gradwell hosting plans and their prices.
By Brenda Barron
Brenda is an active online publisher and experienced WordPress blogger. She has been building websites since 1997.
Based in the United Kingdom and founded in 1998, Gradwell Communications is not a hosting company in the traditional sense. In fact, if you were to quickly glance over their website, you may not even realize they offer web hosting services at all.
Although the bulk of their messaging revolves around telecommunications solutions (voice and broadband), they do offer a number of cloud-based hosting plans to small businesses.
For businesses wanting to learn more about Gradwell's hosting plans, go directly to the Cloud page. It's the only place on their website that features information about them.
The good news here is that Gradwell offers a full range of hosting services, so small businesses can do all their shopping in one place. The bad news is that the information isn't as robust as you'd find from companies that work solely as web hosting providers.
Here is the breakdown of their cloud-based hosting, domain, and business website solutions: web hosting; email hosting; domain purchase and hosting;SSL certificate purchase from Comodo, GeoTrust, or Symantec; website builder tool; Microsoft Office 365 and Hosted Exchange; and Cloud Drive and Backup.
One of the benefits in choosing a company like Gradwell is the bundling. Telecom companies recognize that businesses don't want to source one solution from one company, another solution from a different one, and so on. For businesses that have a need for an affordable and comprehensive web/email/domain hosting solution, then Gradwell offers a number of discounts for those willing to bundle for 12 months or longer.
Gradwell's cloud hosting solutions don't leave much of an impression on their website, so you'll be hard-pressed to find information on this. Here is what they do share:
"Our UK-based, state-of-the-art servers provide a fast and secure environment in which to host your website at a price you can afford."
According to the website, Gradwell offers free support from initial signup through the lifetime of the contract with them.
Hours of availability are listed as Monday through Friday from 8 am to 8 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm. As they are based in the UK, it's safe to assume those hours pertain to their local time zone.
With barely any information available regarding their hosting infrastructure, it's difficult to speak to this point. The website does mention that website backup is included with the Premier web hosting package. Aside from that, however, they explicitly state that backup is the sole responsibility of the website owner.
Security is briefly mentioned, but no discussion of how they protect clients' websites against security threats is provided.
There is no guarantee of uptime. The only mention of this is the following: "Unrivaled uptimes and fast page loads."
After carefully reviewing the Gradwell Communications website, we would advise businesses to proceed with caution. While they do offer good bundling discounts and offers, there isn't a whole lot of information available regarding the reliability of their network or infrastructure. This may be a safe bet for businesses already working with Gradwell for their telecom solutions; the choice is not as clear to others.
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Joined Gradwell in 2002 when they were about the best you could get. I have recommended them to many people. They stayed that way for a decade, with 24/7 support including with difficult or custom matters.
Since 2010 they made a move to Voip mainly and appear to lost interest in hosting. Outages went from unheard of to daily, and they seem to be unaware of these issues when they happen. Last month my site was down for 5 days.
They fixed an issue and my site never recovered. Not only that, I couldn't persuade gradwell support that the problem was not my site itself until I wrote a script to demonstrate that one of their platforms was down. I have enough issues running a business without having to train their support staff.
Anyway, according to pingdom (and note this doesn't show the 5 day outage as it was on one server of their shared servers:
Month start Uptime Outages Response
2006-02-01 96.84% 53 1009ms
2016-01-01 99.24% 70 915ms
2015-12-01 99.15% 34 554ms
etc. The last time I got above 99.9% was august 2014. Now I am a bit embarrassed that several people i know have sites on gradwell due to my recommendation.
Slightly more expensive than your average shared host but uptime has been good. A really confusing control panel offers control over every single part of the configuration which is good in some ways but took me a long time to get my head round. Support is fairly good but it's definitely not a web host for newbies.
Great in all areas. Cannot complain with the price or service I have received. Dedicated Technical Account Managers make a huge difference.
I have never had an outage & I have been with Gradwell for almost 2 years now. Gradwell’s pricing and features are very straightforward. They can also provide the whole package should you be a small start up, like myself.
What hit me on day one and has hit me ever since and carries on right to this day is their support. They have given us fantastic support over the years – better than any other company that I know. I’ve always been happy to recommend Gradwell.
Much more expensive than similar suppliers. Technical support ranges from clueless to deliberately obstructive. Outages are becoming an almost daily occurance.
There are regularly issues which take over a Month to fix. I've been with them for years. I'm currently moving to TSO Host.
I expect the odd glitch. I expect the odd clueless tech support monkey. I don't expect to have almost daily problems and noone capable of fixing them.
Gradwell used to be a reliable and solid provider but as they have grown and moved into other areas they have put less and less effort into their web-hosting to the extent that uptime is unsatisfactory, a recent hacking incident resulted in almost all customers files being hacked and then the fix broke many websites. Support is poor to useless, a recent incident needing five seperate contacts with front line support and then escalation to the director of customer services before a simple fix could be made. Their web logs have been unavaliable for over a month and any requests for an update result in "we don't know what's wrong or how long it will take to fix". They're expensive, unreliable and have very poor support.
From: $ 8.59 / Month
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