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Crazy Domains’ web hosting gave me amazing page loading times. That’s the most important take-away. While it’s costly on a short contract, you might be willing to pay the premium to get those quick loading times.
If you’re considering Crazy Domains, just watch out for some of the missing features listed in this review.
Can This Australian Web Host Compete with the Big Brands in Hosting?
Crazy Domains hosts the websites of over 1.5 million customers, with a network of servers and data centres in the southern hemisphere. But unless you’re willing to sign up for ten years at a time, it’s not the cheapest host in the world.
Worse, it faces tough competition from big, global competitors, with extensive features and super-low prices. When you compare Crazy Domains with its cheaper global competitors, is it really worth spending more? For ten years?
For context, the internet as we know it was launched almost three decades ago, so a ten-year commitment is about a third of the Internet’s current life span, the length of Smallville’s entire run on TV, and the average conversation with Bob from accounting. It’s a big commitment, is my point.
Below, we can see the entire Crazy Domains network mapped out. It has data centres in Perth and Sydney, and one in the UK. It also has servers in Belgium, the US, Hong Kong, India, and Singapore. Do all those servers make a difference? The only way I could truly know was to try it for myself.
I set up a real, functioning website on the Crazy Domains Economy WordPress shared hosting plan to test its speed, support, uptime, and more.I wanted to see if its claims of fast loading times were true, and to compare the quality of its hosting and support with brands both in Australia and globally.
While the loading speeds I saw were pretty incredible, there are missing features you definitely need to know about – especially when you factor in the high prices.
Crazy Domains has two types of shared hosting: WordPress hosting, and “vanilla” shared hosting where you can install any other CMS (content management system) you like. I signed up for the Economy WordPress hosting plan.
The WordPress plans vary according to the storage space and the number of websites you can host. The Economy plan is limited to one site, but it gives you 10GB disk space, which is enough for thousands of images. (I recommend pictures of Ryan Reynolds, or Hugh Jackman if you want to stay local.)
All of its shared hosting plans provide unlimited bandwidth, which is pretty unusual. VentraIPis the only other Australian host I’ve used which makes the same offer.
Crazy Domains says that all of its websites are hosted on low-power servers to make it more eco-friendly, resulting in a 16% reduction in power usage. Many hosts, such as GreenGeeks, are fully carbon-neutral, so this is nothing to shout about, but it’s a step in the right direction.
WordPress nuts: prepare to get excited. You’re going to like these features.
To summarise the important bits:
There’s a one-click WordPress installer, so it’s really easy to get your site set up without having to mess around with databases.
One-click staging lets you clone your website so you can edit the copy rather than the live version. Once you complete your edits, you can simply roll the cloned copy out, and it overwrites the live one seamlessly.
Auto-updates keep your WordPress core code on the latest version without you having to lift a finger to update it yourself.
WP-CLI and GIT are developer features that allow greater control over how WordPress is managed and updated.
And there’s more to like when I dig a little deeper.
Security and Backups are Easy
Crazy Domains takes backups weekly. Now, I’d prefer to see daily backups, but on cheap plans, daily backups are rare.
There’s also a backup wizard that you can use to create a backup on demand, or restore a backup. This is really easy to use, and you have the option of downloading the backup to your computer if you want to archive it locally. There is also a one-click restore feature that makes it easy to restore a file you’ve trashed by accident.
Crazy Domains says it’ll monitor your website 24/7 for any security issues, and it also has a plugin, WP Fort Knox, that detects malware. No stockpiles of gold, though.
There’s an Optimisation Wizard, Harry!
Crazy Domains has an optimisation area that allows you to control the compression applied to your files. File compression can help your website to load more quickly, so that’s something you want.
Having this level of control is unusual. I liked being able to control this myself, rather than having to contact support to change the settings. You can choose Compress All, or select specific types of content to compress. If the compression causes any issues with your site, selecting the Uncompressed option switches the feature off.
Crazy Domains has its own caching technology to speed up loading times on your site. It’s called Cache Blaster. When I tested loading speeds, I found that Crazy Domains’ results were very impressive. More on that later in the review.
With all that good stuff out of the way, it’s time to address missing features. Here’s the big one: There is no free SSL. This, for me, is a passion killer.Practically every big website host provides Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates for free, so the fact that Crazy Domains doesn’t is kind of mind-boggling.
Without an SSL certificate, your website cannot serve secure pages. In some browsers, your website will trigger a ‘Not Secure’ flag and show a warning in the URL bar. Your Google rankings could also take a hit. That’s not good for business.
If you want to ensure your site is secure with HTTPS, you’ll have to buy an SSL certificate separately, and Crazy Domains’ SSL certificates are not cheap.
Here are a few other missing features I noticed:
Crazy Domains doesn’t give you a free domain. Yep – even if you cough up for a 10-year plan. Instead, it will give you a temporary subdomain in the format mysite.dreamswp.com. It’s not the kind of URL you’d use to launch a professional website, but it would be OK for a basic personal blog.
There’s no CDN. Now, if your target audience is in Australia, you might be less concerned about global speeds. In this case, a CDN isn’t going to matter quite so much. But if you’re expecting visitors from all over the world and you do want to use a CDN, you’ll have to sign up for one separately.
While CrazyDomains’ features (the ones that aren’t missing) can provide access to some fine control over your server, that doesn’t mean the user interface is complex, or too developer-centric. You’ll find that instructions are given as you go along, and there isn’t much to be confused about.
If there’s anything you do get confused about, you can always contact the support team. They’re available 24/7, and you can read about my experiences with them further down.
Connecting or Buying a Domain is Easy Enough
I’ve already mentioned the fact that Crazy Domains ‘crazily’ doesn’t offer a free domain – even if you sign up for that monster 10-year contract. So I had three options at sign-up: use my existing domain, buy a new one, or use a free subdomain.
I decided to buy a domain from Crazy Domains along with my hosting plan. The interface here is easy to use and guides you through the process:
They’ll Transfer Your Site for You
Have a site hosted elsewhere? CrazyDomains will do all the work of moving it, if that’s what you want. This service is provided for free with the purchase of any hosting plan. It’s actually a fairly standard feature for most mid-range to larger hosts, but it’s always a nice feature to see.
As a user, it’s just one less thing to think about.
One-Click WordPress Install
After signing up, you’ll need to navigate to the hosting control panel to install WordPress. There’s a one-click installer that makes this really easy.
Just fill in the form and tick or untick the features and settings you want.
The setup process is as easy as it gets, and saves considerable time compared to manual WordPress installations.
I had a real, live website up and running with Crazy Domains for three months. I tested its loading speeds from different locations so that you can see real performance data.
As I may have already mentioned, I was very impressed with the loading speeds. Crazy Domains is fast. Crazy fast. In fact, it was the fastest Australian host I tested. I recorded uptime of 99.983% over a month, which isn’t bad. So overall, I was pretty happy with the performance.
Before my tests began, I contacted support and asked them if they could help me optimise my site. Although the support agent didn’t help me themselves, they gave me a link to some optimisation tips from WordPress.org. Oh well.
After implementing the changes they recommended, I tested my site using GTmetrix, the Sucuri Load Time Tester, and UptimeRobot.
Crazy Domains is the fastest Australian host I tested, taking as little as 0.7s to load my website. Yep, it’s not just fast. It’s consistently, blisteringly fast.
I chose the Sydney server location at GTmetrix, which means it loaded my site as though I was in that location. Crazy Domains achieved a Fully Loaded Time of between 0.7s and 1.9s across nine tests. For context, Relentless Hosting’s fastest speed was 1.1s, and NetRegistry’s fastest speed was 3.3s.
My homepage is around 1.4MB in size. You can see from the Total Page Size that Crazy Domains is applying compression to get it under 1MB. When it comes to speed, this kind of compression is key to getting a fast Fully Loaded Time.
Sucuri Time Load Tester
After this, I wanted to see how my real test site loaded from locations around the world. This is the stage where we’ll see whether Crazy Domains’ Australian data centres make a real difference to the speed in the southern hemisphere.
Again, I ran this test nine times to make it as fair as possible. and the results were clear. My site loaded from every data centre in 2.5 seconds or less.
This screenshot shows the median results. Incidentally, I saw consistently good loading times from Singapore and India:
The best speed was 0.6s in Singapore, although the average was more around 0.8s. So Crazy Domains clearly has excellent infrastructure in Asia – these speed tests prove it.
European locations, like France and the Netherlands, fared worst in our testing. But let’s put that into context. Even the slowest speeds were 2.4s or less, and you can achieve better speeds for European locations by using a European host like Hostinger. Still, if you’re not expecting too many visitors from Europe, Crazy Domains is an excellent choice for Australia.
You’ll notice that the Australian data centre didn’t respond during this test. Don’t worry, that’s just a firewall issue that I see fairly frequently with Sucuri. It won’t affect your live website.
Crazy Domains has an uptime guarantee of 99.9%. How did my real website do? Well, I tracked it in UptimeRobot to see what the real uptime would be.
Uptime was 99.983% over one month. It’s good, but not the best.
The latest outage reported is on the 13th of January for one minute. (In reality, uptime reports are recorded based on the frequency of the ‘ping’ that UptimeRobot sends, which is one every minute – so the actual downtime could have been less than a minute.)
I tested Crazy Domains’ support thoroughly so you can judge the quality for yourself. Overall, I was impressed with the response times, and everyone I contacted was very happy to help, although the agents did make a few mistakes.
Let’s start with the basics. Crazy Domains provides 24/7 support, 365 days a year. It offers support via phone, live chat, email, and social media.
First of all, I have to commend Crazy Domains for calling me immediately after I finished signing up. The agent insisted on welcoming me personally and assisting me with any issues I had in getting started. The only other host that proactively called me during my hosting period was iiNet.
So far, so good.
While I was a customer with Crazy Domains, I checked out the live chat at random intervals to see how available the support team was. There were times when nobody was around to answer questions, and the chat form turned into an email form. This is one downside of picking a slightly smaller host than the big brands; you are reliant on a smaller team, so there are fewer people to cover support.
When the operators are around, response time is instant, and the agents that I’ve spoken to are polite, friendly, and helpful. Before even signing up, I wanted to see how Crazy Domains’ support department coped with a non-urgent pre-sales question and a second question about setting up my website.
Unfortunately, the answers I got were not entirely accurate.
First, I contacted the sales chat team to ask if I could have a free hosting trial. The operator should have asked me which plan I wanted. Instead, they offered me a trial of the website builder.
The website builder plan is the only one with a free trial, but it isn’t a ‘true’ hosting plan. It’s also more expensive than the ‘true’ hosting plans. This was not the answer I was hoping to see; it could have resulted in me signing up for the wrong package.
Accidentally selling the wrong product is certainly one way to make a first impression.
Next, I asked them about the money-back guarantee for hosting. This is important if there is no free trial; you need to know that there is a way out if the hosting isn’t right for you.
The operator told me that the Crazy Domains money-back guarantee is valid for 30 days. This was a straight-out wrong answer. It’s valid for 60 days. The operator corrected their reply, but only after I pointed it out.
Perhaps the support agents are working with more than one hosting company? Or maybe it was just a mix-up.
To the credit of the support team, they were quick, polite, and didn’t pass me around to different departments to get answers. The quality of English could have been better, but it was good enough.
The Craziest Thing about Crazy Domains is the 10-Year Contract
Compared to other Australian hosts, Crazy Domains’ pricing is high.
The shortest plan is particularly expensive. Discounts kick in when you sign up for 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, or 10 years.
If you’re crazy (heh) enough to sign up for a decade, it’s actually good value. But is that a good idea? In my view, those super-cheap rates are not a realistic point of comparison because 10 years is just too long to commit. Consider your cash flow as well as the savings. Keep in mind that your website, your business, and your web host could change a lot in 10 years.
Crazy Domains accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, PayPal, AliPay, UnionPay, and zipPay, which is an interest-free credit option. Once I paid, I got an automated email with all of my plan details straight away, so the cost was easy to understand.
Finally, let me come back to the 60-day money-back guarantee. If you claim a refund in that 60-day period, you will still be billed for your time using the hosting plan before the point of cancellation.
So is it really a money-back guarantee? Well, no, it isn’t.
Most big brand hosts are more generous with their terms and will give you a full refund — not a partial one — if you cancel within the first month. I’ve never seen another host limit their money-back guarantee in this way. I don’t think it’s very fair, so be aware of this caveat.
Cancelling Your Hosting
Crazy Domains’ hosting is super easy to cancel.
First, I decided to turn off auto-renewal. (You don’t have to do this, but I like to make sure I’m not rebilled in the future.) In the Profile area, head to Payment Settings, and switch off Auto-Renewal.
Next, click Web Hosting at the top of the page, then expand the plan you want to cancel. Click Confirm Delete, and that’s it.
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April 17, 2021
The pirates of web hosting!
I paid for a 10-year mail account and the transfer of a domain name. I gave CrazyDomains SEVEN months' notice before the expiry of my existing contact with a more reputable host.
Having supplied all information and authorization transfer codes at the time of payment I found that CrazyDomains had done nothing except bank the payment. The domain name had to be retrieved from the previous host at an additional cost due to CrazyDomain’s incompetence.
Despite numerous communications with their “account managers” they failed to affect the transfer, failed to provide any service and failed to make any reimbursement.
Although they operate out of Singapore and bank payments through Singapore they do not follow the laws of Singapore or the business ethics of that country.
In the small print, they hide behind the legislation of Dubai to avoid their responsibilities.
These guys make the Mafia look honest and respectable. You are suitably warned.
I am sure one of their flunkies will respond to this with various platitudes but you are advised to take what is said with a pinch of salt.
I purchased a domain and they tag on a free 3 month hosting. Once I got the domain, I immediately turned off auto renew. Little did I know, they put the hosting portion on auto renew as well. Felt like I got scammed when I saw my credit card charged with the hosting. Does not look good for any company to give you something for free and then tell you: ya, we will auto-charge you every three-months from now on.
Moral of the story, Crazy domain will try to milk you in every way possible. Do aware of non-sense charges if you are going with them. Definitely not a reputable business brand. I would stay away as far as I can.
I have an actual response from crazy domains stating me being charged without authorization is inconvenient but irreversible. I'm lost for words, to be honest, don't think I ever encountered a company with less integrity. Not recommended
They give the appearance of having a base in Australia, but everything is directed to Singapore. I wanted to migrate and renew some domains for 1 year. They insisted I had to sign up for 5 years and got charged more than the advertised prices. I only found out the final price after my credit card was charged. Complaining was a waste of time. For Australians, there are better offers elsewhere.
The domain claims to give u a FULL REFUND if you call in within 60 days to cancel a product. I called after 1 day and they insisted on charging me 1 month for it because of "admin fees" and said that my case didn't count because it was auto-renew. However, their website conveniently left out that particular information that the full refund isn't applicable for auto renew. Rather the web presents it as applicable to any web hosting service. I was disappointed and will be switching to a different service provider.
Terrible website. Confusing. Bad customer service. Ads galore
Overpriced compared to others I've found with less value. Renewed this month and shortly after discovered my separate host company offers me the same product for free as part of my plan. Sent my case to Crazy, they said no refund policy. Disappointing. Years with Crazy Domains, and no grace.
Great support, customer service, Have not received such a support in a long time from any other company especially when I was building my own website. I was able to negotiate a great price for my online website. My email server is quick and very efficient.
WTF Crazy Domains you allow someone to access my account purchase a domain name and hosting, tell me you understand that someone hacked my account and I didn’t purchase the domain and hosting but you can’t refund the charges and you won’t offer any explanation as to how some else could purchase something on my account. Shame Crazy Domains you are an appalling excuse for a company. Steer clear whatever you do.
Crazy Domains’ web hosting gave me amazing page loading times. That’s the most important take-away. While it’s costly on a short contract, you might be willing to pay the premium to get those quick loading times. I would, too.
There are also some pretty good WordPress features, like auto-updates and a staging server.
However, I would like to see free SSL on the shared hosting plans to really bring the features up to the same level as its strongest competitors. And I would like to see the money-back guarantee changed so that it’s more honest.
Based in Melbourne, Jack is a long-time web developer and WordPress enthusiast, always interested not only in how things work, but how he can make them work better. You’ll typically find him glued to his computer screen at all hours of the day and night, but he does go outside every once in a while – mainly to play squash or do some surfing (or at least pretend to).