Host IT Smart is a cheap host with great features and fair terms. Many competing hosts don’t let you pay monthly, so it gains a big advantage by being so flexible. Unfortunately, its mediocre server performance lets it down.
Still, I love the addition of WhatsApp support and the hosting was easy to set up and use. So far, Host IT Smart is one of the best Indian hosts that I’ve tested.
Host IT Smart offers shared hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated servers, and plans for Java developers (which is somewhat uncommon, but cool). It’s been around for just under a decade as a hosting provider, and has data centres in India and the USA.
Oh, and it provides support in English.
I got really good vibes from this host: it looks professional and has a good range of plans. It has a clean, modern site – the little drop-down at the top left allows you to switch between the India site and the global site. Better yet, its pricing is awesome.
But when I used Host IT Smart, I discovered some performance and uptime problems. Cheap hosting is only good when people can actually access your site.
Host IT Smart has three managed WordPress hosting plans: Starter, Performance, and Business. All claim to have unlimited space and bandwidth – but if you start uploading all your family videos, you can expect some emails from annoyed tech support people.
The Starter plan is limited to one website and two databases, while Performance is limited to 10 websites and 10 databases. The Business plan is unlimited.
Each plan comes with “security scans” (although there isn’t much information about these).
Issues with the copy is a bit of a trend, actually, and some of the details on the plans are downright misleading. There’s a section marked “backups”, for example, but Host IT Smart doesn’t take automatic backups. Its definition of “managed” WordPress is also pretty loose.
Thankfully, we do have trusty old cPanel at our disposal. You can make manual backups there.
One-Click Installers are Here to Save You Time
Host IT Smart has the Softaculous one-click installer, which offers hundreds of scripts (including WordPress). You can install any script without having to go through the hassle of setting up databases or uploading files.
I used Softaculous to use WordPress, so if you haven’t seen it in action yet, I’ll talk about it later in the review.
Host IT Smart says WordPress is “preconfigured”, but how, and for what? I couldn’t see any difference between the WordPress installation that was set up for me, and any other WordPress installation.
There’s a Simple-yet-Decent Site Builder
Host IT Smart offers the Site Publisher site builder, which isn’t the fanciest tool I’ve come across. But it does the job.
You can build your site from various templates included with the tool. The screenshot below should give you an idea of what your site will look like.
Your finished site probably won’t win any design awards, but it’s a perfectly good tool if you want to put a quick site online while you develop something a little more professional. Modern, minimalist, and clean. You could do a lot worse.
Free SSL Saves the Day! (Probably!)
Host IT Smart offers AutoSSL for free, meaning that all traffic between your website and your users will be encrypted. That means it’s harder for people to steal your users’ credit card data (for example), and you’re less likely to get sued. Also, all of the SSL certificates provided in cPanel automatically renew, so that’s one less job for your to-do list.
Additionally, SSL ensures that your visitors see the little padlock icon in the URL bar when browsing, giving them a sense of confidence and trust in your site. It can also boost your site’s SEO a little.
Side notes: There’s no CDN, and no caching. You do get one-click site migration from other hosts, but only for WordPress. If you need your entire cPanel site to be migrated, that’s not covered.See full list of features
Ease of use
An Easy Experience… With Optional Upsells
Managing your hosting with Host IT Smart is mostly pretty standard, thanks to the inclusion of cPanel. However, not everything is managed via cPanel, and your experience may vary a little. For example: The domain selection screen is not quite as intuitive as it could be.
Specifically, you should be asked to choose whether you want to use an existing domain or buy a new one before you see any forms.
You can use your existing name, or register a new one. I chose to buy a new domain, so I used the second form to search for the domain. I just wish there wasn’t that “Huh?” moment you get when you see two big green buttons at once.
Small, nitpicky form issues aside, the hosting setup and management are easy enough to learn.
Installing WordPress is Easy
WordPress isn’t pre-installed. Fortunately, Softaculous makes it easy.
Find WordPress on the list, then click Install Now. You’ll need to fill in a quick form with your website name and tag line, and tick a few boxes. Once the script has finished installing WordPress, you’ll get your login details.
I set up a real website at Host IT Smart to test its speed and performance. I tested my Host IT Smart website with three performance testing tools: GTMetrix, the Sucuri Load Time Tester, and UptimeRobot. This article describes the tests in more detail.
Here’s the rundown: Local servers reported an average loading time of 3.6 seconds, which is pretty high. Ideally, you want to keep loading time under 2 seconds. The average global loading time was faster at 2.7 seconds, with the fastest load times happening on the east coast of North America.
Host IT Smart fell short of its 99.99% uptime guarantee, managing 99.83% over two months. That’s not ideal.
The test site was located at www.autonomous-shoes-india-g.in. I’ve now deactivated my account so that the host can’t manipulate any future results.
Before I ran these tests, I asked Host IT Smart how to optimise my website. I wanted to give them a fair shot at getting the best result. Paragi (a helpful tech support person) gave me a URL with some tips on another website.
I implemented the changes suggested, and ran the tests.
GTmetrix reported an average loading speed of 3.8seconds, which is pretty bad.
I tested my site from the Mumbai data centre. Over nine tests, the fastest loading time I got was 3.6 seconds, and the slowest was 4. It’s miles behind competitors like MilesWeb and HostingRaja.
I look for times under two seconds in this test, because users tend to bounce away from a page if it takes more than two seconds to fully load. (Hey, they have lives, too.) In this respect, Host IT Smart failed my loading time test, and rather badly.
The only saving grace is the page compression. My website is loading well under its original size of 1.44MB, so there is clearly some decent compression going on… not that it’s helping too much.
Sucuri Load Time Tester
The average global loading speed in Sucuri was 2.7s. That’s pretty good, but still slower than some competitors. I noticed some good speeds on the East Coast of the United States and Canada, with 1.6 second loading time in New York in one test, and a 1.7 second loading time in Montreal.
The West Coast was a different story. The loading speeds in San Francisco varied between 4.8s and a rather painful 9.6s, the slowest in all tests.
Unfortunately, the data centre in Bangalore was unresponsive. It’s difficult to say why. That’s not to say you’d have a problem with your website loading locally, but it does mean I can’t give you any meaningful analysis.
Host IT Smart failed to meet its 99.99% uptime guarantee. You can see here that the uptime over the last 30 days was 99.75%. If we look back over about two months, it was slightly better at 99.83% – but that’s still not enough.
The uptime guarantee is not even mentioned in the Terms of Service, which is a bit weird. I don’t think you could claim any account credits if your site is down a lot, so you may want to proceed with caution.Check Out Host IT Smart Performance
Helpful Support – and WhatsApp Is a Bonus
Host IT Smart’s support team is available 24/7 via live chat, phone, ticket, and WhatsApp. I love the inclusion of WhatsApp support. I wish more hosts would try it.
For the tests, I decided to make it fair and stick to traditional live chat and tickets. Live chat was very quick. Tickets were slower; passing my request from department to department was a bit of a time-suck.
Here’s my initial chat. Looks pretty good, apart from the colour scheme. But I’ll let that go.
After signing up, I asked about installing WordPress. Now, this answer was really weird: Vineesh referred me to a different web host’s site to get the answer. It would be one thing to direct me to a WordPress tutorial site or blog, but directing me to a competitor’s site is just odd.
Worse, Host IT Smart has a knowledge base of its own. Why is it sending customers to Liquid Webto get answers? Okay, it was helpful, if a bit strange.
Insanely Cheap Hosting with Monthly Billing
Host IT Smart’s hosting is the cheapest out of all the hosts I’ve tested in India, and you can pay for it using PayPal, credit or debit cards, or NetBanking.
There are no free trials, but there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee. And there’s also the option of monthly billing. Often, Indian hosts prefer one or even five years’ payment upfront, so this is worth considering if you don’t want to commit long-term.
You also get a discount for a long commitment. The plan I signed up for was 25% cheaper if I signed up for 6 months or 62.5% cheaper over three years. That’s a fantastic deal, and Host IT Smart has done a great job on the pricing in general.
Cancelling a Host IT Smart Account
Before cancelling my Host IT Smart hosting, I decided to disable auto-renew on the domain. It’s worth doing this so you don’t get any mysterious charges on your payment method if the host tries to renew a long-forgotten domain that you no longer need.
The procedure for this is simple: click Domains, then Renewal Status, and Disable Auto Renew. The button you’re looking for… well… it’s big, it’s red, and it’s your friend in this case.
To cancel the hosting, the procedure is almost the same. Click Services, click on Request Cancellation, and fill in the form. That’s it, you’re done.
HostITSmart is the worst hosting provider I have ever seen. The dedicated server goes down in a gap every 5 to 6 days time for many hours and the tech team not able to fix even working on it for hours. Worst server, worst tech team, and worst support staff. You ask them something and they will reply to something else. The dedicated server is worst than shared hosting servers. In one line, if you want that your business should bear losses because of downtime, then go for it. If I calculate an average up time, then in 100 hours of hosting time, there will be at least 8 to 10 hours of downtime and I am talking about Dedicated Server. Now think of other services. You can guess.Check what I wrote on a ticket: http://prntscr.com/rg6por
I have purchased a vps account recently, its started showing problems every now and the. They are rebooting server without informing us. Today without informing they did some maintenance and we lost all configurations. Moreover they have no ethics and is playing with our data even without informing us. The WORST experience ever.
Host IT Smart is a cheap host with great features and fair terms. Many competing hosts don’t let you pay monthly, so it gains a big advantage by being so flexible.
Unfortunately, its mediocre server performance lets it down. You could try using a CDN to improve uptime and speed.
I love the addition of WhatsApp support and the hosting was easy to set up and use. This means Host IT Smart is one of the best Indian hosts that I’ve tested so far. That said, if you want budget-friendly hosting but you don’t want to compromise on loading speeds and uptime, you should check out Hostinger’s latest deals.
There is a wide range of hosting services available, from budget-friendly shared hosting to fancy dedicated servers. The best hosting for your website will depend on your specific needs. If shared hosting isn’t enough for you, there are several cheap and reliable VPS hosting services available.
How do I choose a hosting plan?
Try to estimate the size of your website, and how many visitors you think you’ll be getting each month. Since most web hosting providers will let you easily scale up your plan, it’s always the most cost-effective to start small and upgrade later.
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).