Features and Ease of Use
AlibabaHost provides a full range of hosting services, including shared hosting, WordPress hosting, Linux and Windows-based VPS, and dedicated servers. As standard, their shared hosting plans come with the following features:
- 99.9% uptime SLA
- R1Soft backups
- RAID10 SAS HDD storage
- Between two and six websites hosted per account
- SSL certificates available at an extra cost
- Unmetered data transfer
AlibabaHost uses Tier I network providers and redundant multi-homed networks to ensure your website is available, and incredibly, they put their money where their mouth is. They advertise a 100% uptime guarantee (although their Terms of Service state 99.9%), which gives one day of service for free in compensation for every hour of downtime a customer experiences.
The host uses a combination of cPanel, CloudLinux OS, Cloudflare, and Litespeed Web Server, which means performance speeds up to nine times faster than those of Linux and Apache. What I particularly appreciated about them were the 500 Gbps anti-DDoS protection and automatic malware scans included with their shared hosting packages: a perk you’ll rarely find with most other hosting providers. Given that they’re targeting users in need of offshore and DMCA-free web hosting, this is essential.
They even offer a good selection of beginner-friendly features, such as a one-click installer, an easy point-and-click e-commerce website building tool, and a mobile website generator designed to convert an existing website into a mobile-responsive layout. Unfortunately, while they do support MySQL databases and PHP 5.3, they don’t seem to offer many other features for more advanced users.
Pricing and Support
Their prices are excellent considering the number of value-added features included in their packages and the fact that they specialize in offshore and DMCA-free hosting services. The downsides are that they don’t offer much advanced functionality, and domain registration and SSL certificates are both extra costs.
Plans can be purchased in one, three, six, 12, 24, and 36-month terms. You won’t get any discounts even if you purchase a longer term. In fact, it appears to get more expensive if you buy a three-year plan.
Although they have base plans, they have a fair amount of customizations you can add in the checkout process such as additional IP addresses, daily backups, and management services. They have an “anytime money back guarantee,” meaning that you can cancel at any time and if you aren’t 100% satisfied, you can request a refund for the rest of the term.
You can contact their customer service 24/7/365 by live chat, email or support ticket — fairly impressive by industry standards. They also have a pretty decent (though not fantastic) knowledge base if you’d like to try to resolve the problem without speaking to support. One little gripe I had is that although I found their customer service to be above average, I’ve frequently been left waiting for a response from their live chat operator for lengthy periods of time even when they stated that they were online.