ideahost Review: a Low-cost, Unlimited Hosting Plan? That Can’t Be Right, Can It?

ideahost Introduction

ideahost is a US-based web hosting company specializing in low-cost and unlimited shared hosting.

Unlimited Shared Hosting Simplicity

ideahost is all about simplicity. They offer a single hosting package with unlimited storage and bandwidth, on a shared server. The only decision you have to make during the sign up process is whether to purchase a new domain through ideahost or use a domain you already own.

With your enrollment, you receive a free domain registration (free for the first year only), unlimited domains, and unlimited MySQL databases. Each account includes unlimited, personal email addresses, access to webmail, spam filters and email virus protection, and email forwarding and autoresponders.

ideahost aims to make getting your website setup as simple as possible. Their plan includes a free drag and drop website builder with thousands of templates, a blog setup wizard, and a photo gallery setup wizard. While the free drag and drop website builder only supports 6 pages, additional pages can be purchased as an add-on.

For the slightly more tech-savvy, ideahost also provides easy installation of most major content management systems, including WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, all of which will let you create unlimited pages and choose from thousands of free and paid templates. For online retailers, ideahost also includes a free online store, your choice of shopping carts, and PayPal integration.

All of these options are easily accessible through cPanel, the most popular control panel in the world, as are the many free offers available to help you market your website. These include a Google AdWords credit, Yahoo and Bing Credits, listing, a toll-free US phone number, and access to several online marketing guides.

Although ideahost offers unlimited storage, it’s important to note that stipulations are in place that this space cannot be used for storage, of files, media, or other data. They reserve the right to review your account if you are utilizing excessive CPU or storage resources.

This same language can be found in the terms and conditions of most shared hosting plans, in particular those offering unlimited storage. And it should be viewed as a positive restriction, since it prevents one account from monopolizing all of the resources on a shared server.

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Support and Customer Service

Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, via phone, online chat, or email. All calls are answered within 2 minutes. For the do it yourselfers out there, they also offer an online help center and step-by-step tutorials for most common tasks.

Transfer service is available within the first 30 days of sign-up, though this is considered a courtesy and not a guaranteed service. Transfer services are available after 30 days as well, but you will incur an additional charge.


ideahost runs weekly backups, which are stored until the next weekly backup. However, the backup service is not a part of their guaranteed service, and they are not responsible for lost or corrupted data. Additionally, any sites that exceed 20 gigabytes in size are left out of weekly backups; if your site exceeds this size limit, only your databases will be included. As with any hosting plan, it’s a good idea not to rely on them for backups, but to instead set up your own backups to a separate location.

Uptime Guarantee

ideahost offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee. If they fail to meet this guarantee, you may be eligible for a one-month account credit. In the event that you believe this guarantee was not met, you simply need to submit a support request, and ideahost will review the server performance for the month and determine whether or not a credit is due.

Billing and Payments

Payment is typically made using a major credit card, though other payment methods are available upon request, including bank wire transfer, Western Union, checks, and money orders. All accounts are auto-renewed, using the information you provide ideahost at the time of enrollment. Changes to your billing information should be reported prior to your next renewal. If they are unable to process a renewal, your account may be suspended or cancelled.

Accounts may be cancelled at any time using the cancellation request feature in your control panel. Accounts cancelled within 45 days will receive a full refund. Accounts cancelled after that time may receive a partial refund, covering any full months remaining in your service. Returning customers or add-on customers are not eligible for the 45-day money back guarantee.


ideahost is very clear about what they are: a low-cost, unlimited hosting plan. They don’t try to sell you on special upgrade options or higher-priced plans you don’t need. In fact, they don’t have any of those things.

They offer a single plan, which includes everything the average website owner requires. If you’re looking for a low-cost option, this is definitely worth considering. Not only is their price and features competitive, but for the first year they typically provide substantial discounts.

Most Popular ideahost Hosting Plans

ideahost Unlimited
Disk Space Unlimited
Bandwidth Unlimited
Price $2.99 / mo
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ideahost Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does IdeaHost offer Windows hosting plans?

    IdeaHost only offers Linux shared hosting plans.

  • Can I get help transferring websites from my previous hosting provider?

    Yes. The IdeaHost service team can help transfer your current server files to your new IdeaHost account. While they cannot guarantee that your files are successfully transferred, they should have no trouble moving files for common platforms such as WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal.

  • Can I still get the rates I signed up for once my plan gets renewed?

    IdeaHost typically offers steep discounts on new enrollments. These prices are kept for as long as your initial term, meaning if you paid in advance for 2 years, those prices will remain the same for 2 years. Once the initial term is finished, you will be charged the standard rate which can be found on the company’s website. Note, however, that the company can change their pricing at any time according to the terms of service. But customers will be notified 30 days in advance of the price change.

  • What are the payment options from IdeaHost?

    Customers who select a plan from IdeaHost can choose from a range of payment options including monthly and yearly payments. They can pay for the plans using multiple methods including major credit cards and PayPal.

  • Does IdeaHost provide domain registration services?

    Domain registration services from IdeaHost are only offered when you purchase web hosting. When you register for a hosting plan you can get free domain for the first year but currently there is no option for domain privacy.

  • What type of control panel does IdeaHost use?

    IdeaHost uses cPanel, the most commonly used platform for website administration and setup in the hosting industry.

  • How many sites can I host on IdeaHost?

    Since the IdeaHost plans include support for unlimited domains and disk space, you can host multiple sites using a single account.

  • Is an uptime guarantee provided?

    IdeaHost provides an uptime guarantee of 99.9%. If you experience downtime exceeding this threshold, then you could be eligible for up to a month’s worth of credit. To be considered, you must submit a claim and provide appropriate logs to the company. These must be submitted within 30 days of the last day of the month when the downtime occurred.

  • What customer support options are available from IdeaHost?

    IdeaHost provides its customers with a number of different ways to get support. These include 24/7 access to help via phone, chat, and email with guaranteed response times of 2 minutes for phone calls. Besides phone and email, customers can get help through the online help center and various tutorials.

  • What email related tools does IdeaHost provide?

    IdeaHost supports a number of email protocols including POP3 and IMAP. With IdeaHost, customers can create an unlimited number of email addresses and check their email using a web interface. They can also set up email forwarding as well as autoresponders. It is also possible to enable tools that filter out spam and perform virus checks on emails and attachments.

  • Are there tools available for novices to easily build websites?

    IdeaHost provides a number of tools that can help beginners build their own websites. These include single click installs of popular platforms such as WordPress. Besides using scripts like WordPress, customers can use a drag and drop application or customize a number of templates to create good looking websites.

  • Do customers have access to the right features for building an ecommerce store?

    The company provides the tools to build a shopping cart for an online store and integrate PayPal. However, IdeaHost does not sell SSL certificates nor does it mention any features for supporting SSL.

  • Are the unlimited features really unlimited?

    In order to prevent a single user from monopolizing server resources, IdeaHost restricts resource usage to “typical” activities. This means they prohibit things such as hosting peer-to-peer file-sharing software, running lengthy MySQL queries, running web spiders, or other resource-intensive tasks. They regularly monitor resource usage, and will contact any account that utilizes more than 25% of system resources for more than 90 seconds. If your account continues to exceed these limits, it may be suspended or cancelled.

  • Are video streaming sites supported?

    Since the company does not mention any video streaming support and has usage restrictions, it appears that video streaming is not well suited by IdeaHost plans.

  • What does IdeaHost provide to help me market my website?

    IdeaHost provides its customers with online marketing guides that help explain the basics of online marketing and website promotion.

  • Does IdeaHost have an affiliate program?

    Yes, it is possible for you to sign up as an affiliate with IdeaHost. The company provides $110 per signup and you will get a higher commission if you get 10 or more signups per month. As an affiliate, you can get all promotional materials or request custom materials from IdeaHost’s marketing team.

Jaramy Conners

About Jaramy Conners

Jaramy has been a technical writer for many years, specializing in privacy, identity theft, blogging, business, and communications writing. But he's also a children's writer. His short story "Steve" won the Hunger Mountain Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult and Children's Writing. He lives with his wife in upstate New York.

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