Hostking is one of South Africa’s top web hosting companies. They provide affordable hosting services without long-term contracts. Their commitment to web hosting and stability is reflected by their satisfied customers and the 8000+ domains hosted by their servers at the Hetzner Data Center.
Features and Ease of Use
Hostking offers SSD shared hosting, VPS, resellers, specialized WordPress hosting, and managed dedicated servers. Their plans provide value-added benefits for business and personal needs, which include:
- 99.9% guaranteed uptime
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Website builder
- From 500 MB to unlimited disk space
- Daily backups
- Let’s Encrypt SSL on all plans
- Free website templates in the Site.pro site builder
- Free .co.za domain on annual payments
Hostking makes it easy for beginners to create a website with Softaculous for 1-click installs for a plethora of software including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, and Wiki. For those wanting to use WordPress specifically, they offer a WordPress hosting plan.
They have free Attracta search engine optimization tools to guide you through the SEO basics, and you can use the tutorials in their knowledge base to familiarize yourself with their servers and hosting plans. Hostking’s beginner-friendly features also extend to a free website builder on all plans.
I especially like their support for e-commerce businesses. You can use the PrestaShop hosting plan for your e-commerce website and receive excellent peak cart performance. Also, you can choose a shared hosting plan with support for Magento hosting for your online store.
Hostking supports a variety of programming languages including Perl, Python, .NET, and PHP 5 and 7.
The final features to mention are their free website and database transfer, and the SpamAssassin that prevents spam emails from coming into your email accounts.
Pricing and Support
Hostking charges standard industry prices for their shared plans, and these prices fit with what they offer.
They have a free site builder plan that comes with 500 MB disk space, a free mysite.web.za domain, weekly backups, and sufficient bandwidth for a free plan. This is a good way for a beginner to build a website easily, but like most free plans it comes with very limited storage space and you must use a subdomain rather than a top-level .com or .co.za domain.
Another easy plan for beginners is the Sitebuilder Premium plan. It is slightly expensive but worth the cost for the disk space and add-ons.
Domain names are more expensive with Hostking than with some other providers, but at least you’ll pay the same price when renewing rather than being attracted by a too-good-to-be-true initial price that goes up in the second and subsequent years. Alternatively, you can go for an annual or biennial plan and get a free .co.za domain.
On the subject of payment frequencies, you can pay monthly, quarterly, yearly, or biennially. This is great if you want to test out their packages month-by-month before committing to a two-year plan. To make it even better, they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Hostking provides support via web chat, online ticket, and email. Although they also provide a contact number in theory, this seems not always to be answered in practice. The web chat option provides a seamless experience, and I was in discussion with two helpful agents within seconds of sending messages.