Last updated: December 29, 2018
WestHost In 2018: What Do WestHost Client Reviews Say?
WestHost is a web hosting company aimed at business users. It offers low-cost shared hosting, cloud hosting and dedicated servers, and all services appear to be targeted at professionals rather than hobbyist users.
The company was set up in 1998 and was acquired by UK2 in 2008. It’s part of Hosting Services, Inc, and shares its headquarters in Utah with AN Hosting and Midphase. Notably, half of its employees are multi-lingual, and half have more than 5 years’ experience in the IT industry.
WestHost Hosting Plans
- Shared web hosting is split into three plans: Personal, Preferred and Business. The Personal plan is the most limited at 50 GB disk space, 1000 GB bandwidth and 1 database; the top-end Business plan is largely unlimited. Preferred customers receive a free domain, and Business customers receive a free domain and free SSL certificate.
- Cloud hosting is split into three plans: Burst, Storm and Monsoon. The lowest cost plan, Burst, comes with 20 GB disk space, 500 GB bandwidth, a dedicated IP, 1.2 GHz processor power and 752 MB ram. The top-end plan comes with 2250 GB bandwidth, 90 GB disk space, 4.5 GHz processor power and 3384 MB RAM.
- Dedicated servers are available on managed or unmanaged plans. There’s a handy side-by-side comparison chart for both types of dedicated hosting, covering everything from the port speed on the machine to the machine’s RAID capabilities.
WestHost offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee on shared hosting and dedicated hosting packages. For shared hosting customers, backups are included for free, but backups are a chargeable extra on dedicated servers. Dedicated customers receive credits in the event of a network outage.
VPS and cloud customers’ accounts are backed up weekly and monthly. WestHost recommends that users create their own backups in between. There’s no uptime promise for these types of services.
WestHost uses a Tier-3 data centre in Salt Lake City, Utah, and rents out space there as part of a colocation program. The host relies in redundant power, on-site staff, cold row cooling, a VESDA smoke detection and video surveillance to keep customers’ data secure. Detailed information about the data center is available on individual service pages.
Support is provided 24/7 through a variety of channels. There’s a live chat button, a knowledge base and a (fairly sparse) FAQ. I found that some of the published support documentation was quite limited, with a huge amount on cPanel and site builders but not a lot of information on other services.
In addition, customers can use a ticketing system, a US toll-free telephone number and a US number that can be called from other countries. Customers must use the members’ area at http://members.westhost.com to log support requests.
Despite WestHost’s claim that half its staff speak more than one language, I didn’t see any clue as to whether support was provided in any languages other than English.
WestHost in the News
In February 2010, WestHost experienced a major outage when fire prevention chemicals were accidentally released during a routine inspection. Initially the company claimed that downtime would be limited to six hours, but this was revised to six days by the CEO of UK2, Jeff Hunsaker. UK2 employees then edited a Wikipedia page about Inergen, the substance concerned, stating that it could damage hard drives. The disruption prompted the company to move to its current data center, a different facility from the one the company was using at the time.
Most of the details about the outage are hidden in the members’ area of the WestHost website. However, the announcements are mirrored on GetSatisfaction.
It’s also covered in detail on the Wikipedia website, and the article includes references to the original posts.
WestHost Control Panel
WestHost’s Linux hosting customers receive access to cPanel, and WestHost have their own hosted demo which appears to be up-to-date with the latest version 11.
Customers on the Preferred and Business plans receive a free domain name for life. All customers also receive Google/ Yahoo! ad credits with a total value of $100, and there’s a referral program that pays $25 per new customer referred. WestHost also has its own affiliate scheme which pays out $100 per new sign-up.
Softaculous is included on shared hosting plans, as is an online website building tool, giving clients several routes to creating a website quickly. A second website builder, DropClick, is available for an additional monthly fee.
WestHost Money Back Guarantee / Cancellation Policy
WestHost provide users with a 60-day money-back guarantee, which is more than host hosts offer, although more expensive plans are excluded: cloud, reseller and dedicated hosting customers can’t use it. Domain registration and transfer fees are not included in the money-back guarantee. There’s no clause in the Terms of Service that states how accounts have to be cancelled.
WestHost has the backing of a massive hosting company, and its focus on business means there’s plenty of technical information to help you make the right hosting choice. While the knowledge base is a little underwhelming (887 cPanel articles vs 9 FAQs, for example), the company clearly has a commitment to providing great support via other means. It’s just a shame the documentation isn’t as good as it could be.
The huge outage in 2010 may have put some customers off WestHost, but the company has relocated since, so there’s no reason to be worried by its patchy uptime history.
As it stands, WestHost has most small business needs covered. Even though shared hosting is a little pricier than elsewhere, the 60-day money-back guarantee gives customers plenty of time to give it a try and see if it’s worth the extra cash.
WestHost Reviews by Our Community
Overall Rating from 23 Reviews by WestHost Customers
Most Helpful Reviews
Artful Dodger maxvideogaming.com
Mar 03, 2012
reiko beach reiko
Aug 26, 2011
Mike Halliday sarasotasailingsquadron.org
Dec 17, 2013
Kathleen Sauer lumins.net
Sep 06, 2017
Steve Lawson joyfulearthtech.com
Feb 02, 2012
William Waldorf waldorfphotographicart.com
Dec 01, 2015
clayson searle claysons.com
Aug 04, 2015
Brad Johnson schoolsfirst.org
Sep 09, 2013
Mar 10, 2011
Ed Arnold edarnold.net
May 01, 2015
Most Popular WestHost Hosting Plans
|Price||$6 / mo||$11 / mo||$15 / mo|
|Visit WestHost||Visit WestHost||Visit WestHost|
|20MB||500GB||$50 / mo Visit Host|
|20GB||500GB||$50 / mo Visit Host|
|500GB||10TB||$85 / mo Visit Host|
|50MB||1250GB||$100 / mo Visit Host|
|50GB||1250GB||$100 / mo Visit Host|
|Quad Xeon (Sandy Bridge) E3-1220
|500MB||10TB||$144 / mo Visit Host|
|90GB||2250GB||$150 / mo Visit Host|
|90GB||2250GB||$150 / mo Visit Host|
|Hexa Xeon E5-2620
|1000MB||10TB||$229 / mo Visit Host|
|Dual Hexa Xeon E5-2620
|10000MB||10TB||$297 / mo Visit Host|
WestHost Frequently Asked Questions
- What hosting products doe WestHost offer?
WestHost offer a broad range of hosting products including shared hosting, dedicated managed and unmanaged server hosting, reseller hosting, and email server hosting.
They also offer a range of more specialized products like WordPress hosting and ecommerce-specific hosting accounts.
- What’s email hosting?
Email hosting is a particular hosting product that WestHost offers.
It’s essentially a very lightweight hosting plan that will cover email needs but nothing else. It includes all the basics of email (storage, POP/IMAP support, spam protection, address book, calendar etc…) but that’s it.
Because it’s so simple, WestHost can offer it for an incredibly low rate.
- Does WestHost offer migration services?
Yes. WestHost has both free domain and website migration services available. To qualify for a free website migration, it needs to be cPanel to cPanel migration.
- What control panel does WestHost use?
WestHost uses a proprietary reskin of cPanel called CHI Control Panel.
- What support does WestHost offer?
WestHost offers live chat, phone, and email-based ticketing support. They also have a knowledge center and will offer support via your control panel.
- Does WestHost offer an uptime guarantee?
No. However, they assure customers that they guarantee 99.9% uptime. But this is not formalized in writing on their website.
- Does WestHost offer a money-back guarantee?
Yes. They mention a 30-day money-back guarantee in their Terms of Service. Contact customer service for more information.
- What applications can I run with WestHost?
WestHost uses Softaculous to provide their customers with one-click installs of popular CMS, shopping cart, wiki, forum, and gallery software.
Included in the Softaculous package is WordPress, Joomla, Magento, and Drupal, among others. This package comes included with all shared hosting plans.
- What programming languages does WestHost support?
WestHost supports PHP, MySQL, Ruby on Rails, and Perl.
- What does WestHost mean by unlimited bandwidth and storage?
Some plans include unlimited or unmetered bandwidth and storage. Like other hosting companies, they mean that the limit is so high that most customers who comply with the acceptable use policy won’t ever hit it.
However, if a user does start to get close, WestHost will ask them to limit their server use (eg, reduce the number of databases).
They also reserve the right to throttle traffic if a site is impacting the performance of other customers on the server.
- Where are WestHost’s datacenters?
WestHost’s datacenters are about a half hour drive south of Salt Lake City in Utah. The company is headquartered in Utah as well.
- What CDN service does WestHost use?
WestHost offers CloudFlare CDN as standard on some plans and as an additional add-on product on all shared hosting plans.
- Does WestHost offer backups?
Sort of. They backup their shared servers regularly but do not guarantee that thee backups are complete and recommend that customers make their own as well.
- What security does WestHost offer?
They offer SiteLock as an add-on service for all shared hosting plans as well as SSL certificates (some plans include an SSL certificate).
- What services does WestHost offer for beginners?
WestHost offers more robust hosting packages like WordPress hosting or business hosting for an online store. They also have a website builder that can be added to any hosting plan.
- Does WestHost have any marketing help?
Yes. They offer SEO services for a monthly fee. They don’t offer any marketing credits.
- What payment options are available with WestHost? What’s the billing cycle like?
Payment options include PayPal and major credit cards. The billing cycle is every three months, every year, every two years, or every three years for shared hosting plans. For dedicated hosting, billing is done monthly.
- Does WestHost offer any discounts?
Yes. Non-profits get their setup fee waived and all plans come with discounts in exchange for signing a longer contract.
- Will WestHost register my domain?
Yes. WestHost will register your domain for you or transfer an existing domain for free.
- Is domain registration free?
Most plans include one domain registered for one year for free. However, be sure to check the specifics of each plan to confirm.