An Affordable U.S.-Based Host
Founded in 2010 and based in Seattle, Washington, Hostwinds is an American website host with data centers in Seattle, Washington, and Dallas, Texas, in the U.S., as well as one in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
It offers a variety of hosting services, including inexpensive shared hosting, Linux and Windows VPS hosting, and even dedicated and cloud hosting, and it has surprisingly low prices for a U.S.-based company.
But just because it’s affordably priced, that doesn’t mean it’s the best website host for you. Like its competitors, Hostwinds has its pros and cons, so it’s important for you to consider your options before making a final decision.
Hostwinds is set up to offer reasonable website load speeds across North America, but what about the rest of the world? And with such low prices, can you really rely on it to provide quality customer service?
Read on to find out whether Hostwinds is the right website host for you.
A Nice Variety of Freebies
Despite being a relatively budget website host, Hostwinds offers decent features, ranging from auto-installers to free SSL certificates and unlimited FTP accounts. Much of it comes standard, including the latest version of cPanel, and it also has unlimited email accounts, subdomains, MySQL databases, and more.
Of course, like most website hosts, Hostwinds offers easy installers for several popular applications, including WordPress and vBulletin. It also offers free website transfers, as well as a free domain name and instant setup so that you can get started as soon as you open an account.
Hostwinds promises to make sure that your site is always online through its uptime protocols (in fact, it offers a stellar 99.9999% uptime guarantee), though there are occasional reviewers whose sites were down for days at a time. Still, it’s reassuring to know that it offers a high degree of redundancy, as well as continuous cooling and multiple power sources. It certainly does more than most hosts.
Choice of Operating System
Hostwinds offers both Linux and Windows website hosting, though its Windows unmanaged hosting packages are considerably more expensive than its Linux unmanaged hosting packages (but if you choose managed hosting, the Linux and Windows plans are the same prices).
Windspeed and Windshield
Windspeed is all about improving performance by optimizing your server, while Windshield is a security tool that’s designed to improve the security of your server and stop unwanted break-ins.
A lot of hosting companies try to cut corners and to save on costs by locating their servers in countries where the cost of land and living is a little cheaper. Hostwinds bases its data centers in the United States (Seattle and Dallas) and in the Netherlands. Its facilities are all SAS Type II, audited, and Tier 4 — which is actually quite rare and should mean less than 26 minutes of downtime per year.
Ease of use
Hostwinds is surprisingly easy to use, which is refreshing compared to some of the other hosting companies I’ve tested. It sticks to mainstream software such as cPanel, and if you’ve worked with a standard shared Linux server, you won’t find it difficult to get started. There are no long waiting periods to worry about for your account to be created, either.
Hostwinds offers a free content delivery network (CDN) that’s designed to help you maintain faster loading speeds and prevent downtime. Using cPanel, it only takes a couple of clicks to install the free CDN and it is a nice feature that cheap hosts don’t usually provide.
You don’t get backups by default, but you can pay a little extra for Hostwinds to make nightly backups on your behalf. Of course, it’s still a good idea to make backups yourself, but the nightly backups are pretty affordable and easy to set up, so why not take advantage of them?
Simple Control Panel
Hostwinds uses cPanel, which is an industry standard. As well as allowing you to easily set up email accounts, FTP users, new subdomains, redirects, and more, cPanel is so common that you’ll find plenty of user guides to help you out if you get stuck.
Creating an Account
Signing up with Hostwinds is pretty simple, and it’s also nice to know that you’re covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee. The actual signup process can be a little confusing, mostly because there are so many options for features and functionality. It’ll still take you less than five minutes to get started, though, and you can find out more about it here.
Connecting a Domain and Installing WordPress
Hostwinds offers one-click installers that make installing WordPress easy—simply log into your hosting account, browse to cPanel and use the Softaculous installer. Mapping a domain name is a little trickier, but still simple if you know what you’re doing. It’s easy to install the free CDN it provides too. Click here to learn more about the process.
Reasonable Performance When It Works
By all accounts, Hostwinds’ performance is pretty good considering what you pay for it, but it’s far from the best on the market. Most unhappy customers had problems with the customer service and not hardware issues, but there are still people whose websites were offline for several days. That suggests that it doesn’t always live up to its 99.9999% uptime guarantee—not to mention its 100% satisfaction guarantee.
As usual, I ran a Sucuri page load test, and the results were what I expected. Hostwinds has reasonably rapid speeds across the United States, but they start to drop off elsewhere in the world. However, in recent months, it’s added an additional data center in the Netherlands, which may improve the speed in European locations, although I can’t confirm that for sure.
Surprisingly, it also has an impressive load time in Australia, but overall it has typical speeds for a U.S. host.
Plenty of Channels, but Not the Best at Solving Problems
Hostwinds has a pretty good range of support options, but it doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to solving problems. It has a team of trained engineers keeping their eyes on the servers at all times, as well as a thorough knowledge base. Hostwinds also provides support via live chat, email, telephone, and a ticketing system.
I tested the customer service team to see if it was any good. While the team picked up on live chat instantly, when I asked if they offered a free Cloudflare CDN, they said no. It definitely does because I’d already installed it, so perhaps the agent just wasn’t well informed. They also answered a support ticket within an hour and an email within two.
Cancellations & Refunds
Canceling a Hostwinds account is easy as long as you know what you’re doing. Be warned, though: there’s one important step that—if you don’t make it—will stop your cancellation from being processed. Log into your dashboard to get started and submit the cancellation form.
You’ll then need to contact customer service if you’re within the money-back guarantee period and want a refund, and even once your cancellation ticket has been created, it won’t be processed until you copy and paste the pre-prepared bold statement. Click here to find out more.
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- English (33)
+100 to them.
I don't know much about web hosting. I just do what my web designer tells me to do. She said to go with Hostwinds so I did. I can say that I Never think about Hostwinds because I never have to. How refreshing is that?! I never have any problems. I have way too much on my plate to have to think about web hosting. I just want it to work. And it does. +100 to them.
The price is very reasonable compared to other hosts I've seen
I would strongly recommend Hostwinds to anyone who is looking for a good hosting company. Currently, we are hosting 5 sites with them and have nothing but good things to say. The price is very reasonable compared to other hosts I've seen. I also just opened another site with them and I got a nice discount on that for already have another account with them so I thought that was nice. As for customer support, I absolutely love it.
This is my first bad review of hosting. On December 14, 2019, I ordered a vpn plan from hostwinds. From the beginning, there was a problem because I ordered a server from the Netherlands and got from the USA. On the same day, I bought 2 other hosting one from Hostinger and one Cloudways in order to check which hosting would be the best for my online store. Hostwinds were definitely the worst. The next day I sent a request to delete the hosting. I didn't log in to the client area anymore and I was convinced that hosting was deleted as per my request. After a month I was charged again for the next month. I have requested a refund. I received that a month earlier they sent me an email that I have to confirm the request to cancel hosting again (unfortunately the email went into spam). I sent them three more requests and confirm that I want to terminate hosting and ask to erase all my personal and paypal data from their system. On one query I got the answer that the request is incomplete and on 2 other support tickets I didn't get the answer and the tickets are on hold. To date, I have not received any refund. And the worst thing is that they still have access to my payment details and I'm afraid that again next month they will be charged for hosting costs. Avoid Hostwinds
Totally happy using this hosting
Well, after several hard weeks of my research I compared many different web hosting offers and Hostwinds attracted me more than any other host. I have been hosting my site for more than a year and I haven't had any problems managing the site. It is very difficult for me to find words to express my feelings about their excellent support – these guys are very friendly and responsive. When I needed customer service this was provided immediately as well. I would say that Hostwinds is one of the best web hosts I've tried.
Provide me with everything to run my website.
Hostwinds is a great hosting company that provides me with everything to run my website/ websites. They are great for not very big businesses and or entrepreneurs. What I like most so far is you get a quality products, and customer service for price other cannot beat.
Professional hosting provider - recommended!
You made what initially seemed a daunting and intimidating process so easy. Hostwinds, thanks for spending so much time with me. It's rare that you get that kind of service anywhere, let alone on the web where it’s easy to be impersonal. You knew when to help and when to make me fix it myself. You're great!