HostSoch’s hosting plans offer good value for the price, but price isn’t everything. During my testing, I found problems with my site’s loading speeds, and it took a long time to access live chat for help. Between that and the strange terms and conditions, there are faster, less confusing hosting options in India.
HostSoch is one of many Indian web hosting brands that launched about a decade ago. It offers Windows and Linux hosting, including special packages for WordPress and Magento. You can also choose a basic cPanel shared hosting plan.
HostSoch piles up tons of good features and looks like great value for money. But I found issues with its server performance while testing my own website. You may still find that HostSoch is the right service for you, but be sure to read this review in full before you sign up for a long contract.
It’s not quite as big a deal as deciding who to spend the rest of your life with, but committing to a hosting plan for 3-10 years is still something to take seriously. Saying things like, “It’s only money” is for rich people, and if I was rich, I’d be writing this from an island.
I signed up for the Starter WordPress hosting plan. It’s a single-website plan with 1GB web space, 5GB bandwidth, and 10 email accounts, but you don’t get a free domain. HostSoch saves that perk for the more expensive plans.
Before we continue, a little tip that will save you some time: HostSoch’s shared hosting and WordPress hosting plans are pretty much the same. The website says that WordPress will be pre-installed on the WordPress plans, but it wasn’t on mine. I’m not sure why I missed out.
Let’s look more closely at the features of the Starter plan:
You get Cloudflare integration, which makes it a little bit easier to set up a CDN for your site. This can help to improve global page loading times. (And based on my test results, you’ll need it.)
On backups, different parts of the website say different things. The plan page says backups are taken daily and weekly. The marketing says monthly. The Terms of Service say backups are only taken weekly, and only one backup is retained.
Three pages, three different policies! Which one do we believe? Probably the Terms of Service, as that’s the only legally-binding document. Maybe.
Finally, let’s zoom in on the WordPress plan. What WordPress features are there? Well… none. Not that I can see. There’s no staging area, and none of the optimisation you might expect on a special WordPress plan. HostSoch says there are automatic core updates, but I didn’t see any evidence of this happening.
Okay, being charitable, there’s a WordPress Manager area in cPanel. But, er, mine didn’t work.
Onwards. What is there to get excited about?
ModSecurity Keeps you… Well… Secure
ModSecurity is a server-side security module that helps to prevent hacking attempts and similar security threats. It usually sits silently in the background, and if you want to change the settings, you’ll need to ask the support team.
With HostSoch, you can control ModSecurity in cPanel on a basic level: the only options are ‘on’ and ‘off’. Still, it beats having to contact tech support if you need to make that change.
Free SSL Certificates are a Good Thing
SSL ensures that your website is served via HTTPS, a secure protocol that keeps customers’ browsing private by encrypting the data that goes to and from your hosting. SSL has become more important now that Google uses it as a ranking factor, so it’s wise to choose a host that provides it for free.
And HostSoch does. Good for them.
The SSL certificates are all set up to auto-renew, which is a nice time-saving feature. All good so far.
There’s a Simple Site Builder
HostSoch includes the Site Publisher site builder, which is fairly common among cPanel hosts. The templates look kind of basic, but the good news is there are no extra charges to use it. You could set up a basic site with Site Publisher while you get your “real” website ready.
WordPress (and other CMS) sites can take a while to get exactly right.
Final tip. There’s no free site migration service. Migrating from a cPanel host to another cPanel host, or WordPress to WordPress, is easy to do yourself. But more complex migration can be tricky, and this is where help from a host can be very valuable.See full list of features
Ease of use
Clear Website and Easy Signup Procedure
HostSoch has a clear website; the most confusing thing is probably the duplication of plans from one hosting type to another. Otherwise, the experience is simple and user-friendly. It’s hard to ask for more than that.
If you need to buy a domain, or connect one you already own, the process is as simple as filling out a simple form.
Installing WordPress is Simple in a Standard Sort of Way
I installed WordPress myself using the Softaculous installer. It’s supposed to be installed by the host, but it’s no big deal to do it this way. Just go to cPanel, locate Softacuous, then find WordPress and click Install Now.
Softaculous will gather some basic information about your website and set everything up for you. Make a note of the admin username and password so you can log in when it’s done.See if HostSoch is Right for You
Poor Local Loading Times Let HostSoch Down
I set up a real website with HostSoch. It was live for around three months at www.autonomous-hosting-india-g.in. I’ve now deactivated the hosting to prevent the host from making any changes that could affect future results.
In the end, HostSoch’s local performance was pretty terrible, at an average 4.7 seconds of page load time. Oddly enough, the same page often loaded in under 1 second in Dallas, and that’s just… confusing.
The site achieved a 99.849% uptime score over two months. That’s not great, but I’ve seen worse.
What comes next is a whole bunch of technical details about how my tests were run. If you’re interested in the technical side of things, by all means, read on. Otherwise, you can go ahead and skip to the Support section.
Now I’m going to look at test results from three tools: GTmetrix, the Sucuri Load Time Tester, and UptimeRobot. If you’re interested to know how we test web hosts at Website Planet, you can read all about it in this article.
Before I started these tests, I asked HostSoch how I could optimise my website. I do this with every host I test, since it’s only fair to give the team a chance to make a good impression. But the tips HostSoch sent were not very actionable. “Make fewer HTTP requests” is not very useful advice, unless you also provide some ideas of how to achieve that.
But more importantly – did I read that right? My site is taking 9.4 seconds to load? What the….?
This certainly didn’t sound very promising. I was very curious to see if I’d get the same result.
HostSoch turned out to be the slowest Indian host I tested.
I ran nine of these tests at different times of day. GTmetrix reported a poor average loading time of 4.7 seconds. The best was 4.0 seconds. The worst was 5.4 seconds.
Ideally, you want less than 2 seconds to keep people from bouncing off your site like the world’s laggiest trampoline. So yeah… that’s not good.
You’ll notice that my 1.4MB homepage had been compressed to under 1MB. And I tested it from the Mumbai data centre too. Why so slow, HostSoch?
Note: HostingRaja, another Indian host, achieved an average of 1.4 seconds. It’s a huge difference.
Sucuri Load Time Tester
Load times through Sucuri were slightly better, but quite erratic. The average response time was a blistering 1.6 seconds… but then, there was a huge range of loading times between the nine tests I ran.
The results from the Bangalore data centre were average, hovering around 2.5 seconds, but occasionally exceeding 6. Given that this host has Indian servers, you’d expect this to be faster.
Compare this to Dallas in the US, which loaded the site in 0.44 seconds in one test and 0.66 seconds in another. Very weird.
Overall, the data centres in North America seemed to load the site more quickly than the ones in Asia. Otherwise, the site veered from being ultra-quick to failing to load at all.
My site achieved 99.976% uptime in the first month. Over about two months, it was 99.849%, which is below the 99.9% industry standard.
Keep in mind that this host has a 99.9% network uptime guarantee. A network uptime guarantee isn’t the same as a regular uptime guarantee. It means the infrastructure will be available 99.9% of the time. Your site might not be.
I was curious about the reported downtime of ‘0 minutes’ on the test, so I looked at the log files. I noticed that there were very frequent timeouts, which are brief episodes of downtime.
These are all from one randomly chosen day:
Up, down, up, down, constantly. Because there is no ‘real’ uptime guarantee, there is no way to claim a service credit if your site is slow. Check Out HostSoch Performance
Slow Chat, Quick Tickets
The HostSoch website has links to a blog and a knowledge base, but neither has any content. You will need to rely on the support department to answer questions. That support is supposed to be available 24/7 through phone, ticket, and live chat.
However, I experienced wait times of more than 10 minutes for some tech support chats.
In contrast, sales chats were always handled quickly. Later on in the review, I’m going to talk a bit about refunds, because the policy isn’t totally clear. In chat, the sales team didn’t really clear up my confusion. But the response was, as I said, quick.
Strangely, the ticket system was faster than I expected. One reply came back within 15 minutes, which is quite fast for any ticket system.
WordPress was supposed to be installed on my WordPress hosting plan, but it wasn’t. I asked how I should install it myself. The instructions I got were good, and they were detailed enough even for a newbie to follow.
Good Value, but a Confusing Refund Policy
HostSoch is one of the cheapest Indian hosts I tested, and I think the plans are good value for the money. Just remember that you don’t get a free domain on the most basic plans.
You can pay with a huge range of different methods: debit card, credit card, PayPal, net banking, cheque, cash, and a variety of transfer services. You can even pay at an ATM.
But there are a few concerns too. There are no monthly plans and no free trials. And there are no discounts for signing up for a long contract.
As for refunds, be very careful. There are two sections on refunds in the Terms of Service that say different things. One says there are no refunds. The other says you can claim a pro-rata refund after the first 15 days if you cancel. It’s not clear what would happen if you cancel within the first 15 days, because there’s no money-back guarantee.
I’m always nervous about hosts that have lengthy contracts and muddled policies, even if they are cheap.
HostSoch allows you to cancel your domain renewal and your hosting separately. I like to check that the domain’s cancelled to avoid any nasty surprises if a hosting company bills me for a domain I’ve forgotten about.
This process is basically the same for all cPanel hosts. First, head to Domains, then Manage, then disable the auto-renew on your domain. The big red button is your friend, here.
The second step is to head to Hosting. Again, click manage, then Cancel. Fill in the form, and click Request Cancellation.
First time using a web hosting site...... Great support .... most of my questions were answered with added info & live chat... chat option works the best ..... ticket process is also fast. even odd time also I m getting a quick response from the support team, My web site speed very good and it meets my expectations.
Even during the lockdown time, they are very much accurate on their support and service. Best Super Support I ever experienced. No more delay in service and supports. I am with the Hostsoch for the last 3.5 years with my 'Pro' web hosting Plan no any problem for me regarding support & downtime
I was a beginner to the web hosting field due to COVID-19 I suffered a lot and try to get a low budget Web Hosting. and i find the Hostsoch, they give provided the best offer for me 40% Discount. that's really helped me a lot. Best Service provider thank you
In my experience, this is the worst "premium" hosting I have seen in my life. They have a live chat support system but nobody knows what to do. I face problem after 4-5 days. when you tell your problem to them they have new excuses every time. what do
HostSoch’s plans give you decent features for low prices, but with such poor loading speeds and less-than-stellar uptime, it’s not the best choice for hosting in India. I was also surprised at how slow live chat was.
While the website’s nicely designed, the terms of the plans are confusing. Customers deserve a little consistency. And the refund policy is clearly in need of work.
As far as Indian web hosts go, HostSoch faces strong competition from MilesWeb and HostItSmart. It has some way to go to match them.
Before you make any final decisions, you should know that Hostinger’s cheap shared hosting plans provide excellent performance all over the world. If I had to choose a new web host right now, it would be my first choice.
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.
Brent is a freelance web developer who loves experimenting with new technology and sharing his experiences with others. While his career life can get hectic sometimes, he always makes time for the important things in life: good coffee, good wine, and quality time with his twin boys, Aiden and Sean.