Michél, manager of the Marketing Department at HOSTAFRICA, talks to us about the features included in their hosting packages, assuring no hidden costs. Their team of highly skilled developers, administrators, and managers from both Germany and South Africa have more than 15 years of international experience and a high-level skill set between them. And, since they only use renowned hardware brands and software solutions, your site is optimized for reliability and high availability.
This interview was originally published on February 28, 2020
Can users register, purchase, and transfer domains through HOSTAFRICA?
Certainly. We run a domain check to search the availability of the requested domain, and if available, we purchase it on their behalf. We automatically send the data to the responsible registrar, and users can maintain their domain data at all times within our Client Area.
We offer over 30 of the most popular domain extensions in South Africa, such as .org, .com, and .net, plus others not included upon request.
Moreover, HOSTAFRICA is a .co.za domain registrar, which means that when you order one of our Web or CMS Hosting packages, you get a .co.za domain for free. We also offer advanced DNS management, multi-year registration, and free expert support.
Users wanting to transfer domains to HOSTAFRICA can initiate the process by submitting a transfer request on our website or via a support ticket, and we will notify the registrar who handles the process from there.
Alternatively, we also offer users the ability to resell domain names with a HOSTAFRICA domain reseller account. Users save up to 30% on list prices, incur no monthly fees, and keep the profit they make. Our program features comprehensive DNS management, a reseller client area, and free WHMCS, API, Blesta integration. Resellers can easily register, transfer & manage domains in their client area. They just sign up and start earning.
What shared hosting plans do you offer?
Our Web Hosting, CMS and eCommerce Hosting, Web Resellers, and Site Builder plans all run on shared web hosting servers.
HOSTAFRICA’s Web Hosting packages are hosted on SSD servers in South Africa to ensure low latency. Our web hosting runs on the cPanel control panel and is the cheapest web hosting option available, starting at R69 per month. We provide vulnerability detection and patching, unlimited web traffic, and 99.9% uptime. Also included is a free .co.za domain, disk storage up to 40 GB, SQL databases, a free SSL Certificate, up to unlimited emails, up to 4 GB of RAM, up to 3 CPU units, PHP, FTP account(s) and daily automatic incremental backups of customers’ data.
Alternatively, our Web Hosting Reseller program allows users to sell their own web hosting, which is fully white-labeled and supports WHMCS integration. From R249 per month, resellers benefit from our infrastructure and keep the profit they make. Clients can buy bundled cPanel accounts, SSD storage, unlimited SQL Databases, and unlimited traffic for reasonable prices. Their account includes Softaculous for 1-click install applications, South African based servers, PHP, web host manager, free emails, automatic backups, malware scanning, virus, and spam protection.
Lastly, all our shared web hosting plans come with our complimentary cWatch Web Security Basic protection. We offer more comprehensive protection plans from R60 to R450 per month. cWatch Security is our Managed Security Service (MSS) that protects customers’ website(s) from cyber threats with 24/7 website surveillance, malware scans and removal, blacklist removal, and continuous brand/SEO/traffic monitoring.
What is included with your WordPress hosting plan?
We offer four hosting plans, tailored for different needs. However, all will automatically install and configure WordPress, free of charge. One free “.co.za” domain is included, and all HOSTAFRICA’s WordPress servers run on Solid-State Drives as well as utilize LiteSpeed Cache. This powerful plugin communicates with our SSD storage to statically cache your dynamic WordPress pages and significantly reduce your site’s page load time.
Our WordPress hosting runs on cPanel, a full-featured control panel that allows customers to easily manage their domain(s) through a web interface. cPanel comes with cPHulk brute force server-wide protection against hacking.
Additionally, we automatically backup our clients’ data daily; it’s part of all our packages. If things go wrong, simply ask for a restore at any time.
Moreover, we’ve made sure our servers run cWatch Web Security and Patchman to keep users protected from malware.
Do you offer any eCommerce hosting?
Our web hosting is based on cPanel Control Panel that runs Softaculous, which supports 39 eCommerce applications. These apps can be installed from your cPanel management console in just a few clicks. No technical skills needed.
Amongst the most popular eCommerce applications we offer are WooCommerce, PrestaShop, osCommerce, OpenCart, Magento, AbanteCart, and CubeCart. These plans are priced the same as our WordPress hosting.
What apps are available for installation?
Softaculous for cPanel can install all apps needed. There are hundreds of apps available for anything from blogging, forums, portals/CMS, and eCommerce to project/ad/file management, gaming, emails, and analytics.
What dedicated server plans do you offer?
Our Linux VPS plans are hosted on physical servers that support all major Linux distributions. Containers are powered by Virtuozzo 7 and powerful SSDs. Servers are hosted in a South African Data Center to ensure low latency. Prices range from R100 for 10 GB SSDs, 1 GB RAM, and 1 CPU vCore to R2,480 for 500 GB SSD, 32 GB RAM, and 12 CPU vCores. We also accommodate users who need a custom plan built.
Furthermore, we have a new product launching soon: dedicated Windows Cloud Servers for R3,000 per month. Dedicated starter resources will be as follows: 1 Xeon E5 2680 12 core (24 threads), fully virtualized, 64 GB DDR4 RAM, 1 TB Local Enterprise SSDs in Raid 10, 4 TB Traffic, 200Mbit Outbreak, Dual Power supply, Redundant Uplink.
Customers can build and add as many resources as you need. There is the option to have your server managed for 50% of the server price.
Are there any advantages to Cloud Hosting over VPS?
Indeed, there are. Our Cloud servers are powered by Virtuozzo Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM), which is full virtualization. The advantage of these virtual machines is that they run on their own kernel. This means there are no limitations on how users can customize their machines. Subsequently, users are also able to mount a custom Operating System ISO, as opposed to VPS containers that can only run mainstream Linux distributions and share the kernel with the host. Moreover, custom kernels allow users to upgrade their operating systems without reinstalling the template and as well as use software containers for nested virtualization.
Lastly, we have Cloud servers based in South Africa and around the world, namely Germany, the UK, USA, and Brazil, giving customers a variety of choices starting at R130 per month. Both our Linux and Windows Cloud Server plans include unlimited bandwidth, one free static IP address, up to 500 GB of SSD storage, 32 GB of RAM, and 16 CPU vCores. Of course, we can accommodate any needs that fall outside of our current packages.
For those who wish to start a business reselling their own Virtual Servers, they can sign up for our HOSTAFRICA VPS Reseller program. Users can resell SSD Linux VPS, Linux, and Windows Cloud servers with WHMCS and API integration. Resellers choose from servers hosted in South Africa or international locations, as well as a range of OS templates. Our program saves resellers up to 20% on list prices and includes cPanel/Plesk/Remote Desktop. No capital outlay is required, and servers are fully white-labeled.
How does your Website Builder work?
Using our website builder is as easy as dragging and dropping what you want, where you want it. Customizing it is just as easy, and absolutely no coding skills are needed. We have a free interactive demo so users can and see how simple it is. Users can even import their current website or create a new one.
Our builder packages include SEO tools, email accounts, quality templates, Google Analytics integration, automatic backups.
Do you have migration services for customers with existing web sites?
Definitely, we’ve made migrating to HOSTAFRICA absolutely effortless for customers. We will transfer their domain for free.
First, we’ll migrate a client’s website content and emails. Second, we’ll request the transfer of their domain name to us. Lastly, once the domain name is transferred, we’ll point their account to our servers. There’s only minimum downtime required, and we’ll give new customers three months of free hosting, allowing them time to settle in.
Are backup and recovery services available?
We offer Acronis™ based online backups. Clients can safeguard their PC, laptop, and mobile data.
Our server edition provides a reliable backup of virtual and dedicated server systems, as well as business-critical applications, such as MS SharePoint, Exchange, MS-SQL, and MySQL.
Customers can restore individual files or an entire backup using the web-based control console. They can easily download items from the built-in backup browser. Furthermore, a single backup package covers an unlimited number of devices.
Lastly, we also offer the option to resell Acronis™ cloud backup storage. This is especially appealing to our Virtual Server resellers who need to protect data on their clients’ servers, devices, and business-critical applications. With our online backup reseller account, users can buy white-labeled cloud storage below list price and sell it for profit.
How are your servers protected against hackers and other cyber threats?
We cannot reveal the full extent of our security measures as attackers may be able to use this information to their advantage.
We do not provide security on our VPSs as they are unmanaged and, therefore, the responsibility of the customer to implement the security measures they deem necessary.
With regards to our shared web hosting servers, we ensure that the servers are always updated to the latest version of cPanel and employ a firewall, among numerous other security measures.
What support services are available to your customers?
We provide support to customers via ticket, Slack, Livechat, email, and phone from 8 am to 5 pm. There will always be an expert on the other side of your problem, ready to listen and act. If necessary, we even provide after-hours support via our ticketing system for all our customers. We also employ 24/7 monitoring of our infrastructure.
The scope of support we offer varies throughout the many different services we sell, but as a principle, we strive to always provide outstanding support that is personal, efficient, relevant, and timely.
Gail is a Technical Editor and Interviewer for Website Planet. Her first PC was a TRS-80 which required a cassette tape to boot up. Producing websites, emails, and banners combines her love for design, technology, and of course, writing.