Affordable Unlimited Hosting
Founded in 1999 by high school students Mike Lavrik and John Quaglieri, InterServer has grown from a single domain name and a virtual hosting reseller account to an international company with two data centers, in Secaucus, New Jersey, and Los Angeles, California.
It’s not the biggest host on the market, but it’s also a long way from the smallest. And while it heavily promotes its shared hosting packages, it also offers VPS, cloud, and dedicated hosting, as well as email hosting packages.
One of the big selling points of InterServer is that it offers an unlimited web hosting package. Starting at the cost of one cup of coffee per month, it comes with everything you’ll need to get started with a simple website, from unlimited domains and storage space to a powerful control panel and over 450 cloud applications.
InterServer isn’t for everyone, and you need to make sure it’s the right web host for you. And so, with that in mind, let’s dive on in and get started.
All a Rookie Needs
InterServer is clearly designed for beginner website owners. It provides services to help you get started easily, even if you have minimal technical experience. It also offers a range of additional products to purchase as your online business grows and you require more functionality.
Some of the most notable features for rookie admins include the free migration service and the free website builder, as well as inexpensive domain registration, a simple control panel, and your pick of over 450 cloud applications via a one-click installer, including WordPress, Joomla!, Drupal, and Magento.
Guaranteed Email Delivery
InterServer has its faults, but if you’re looking for a web host that can power your emails, look no further. Not only does the company offer unlimited email accounts, but it also offers guaranteed email delivery: InterServer claims it’s solved the problem of email deliverability. As long as you’re not sending spam emails, your email always gets delivered and won’t end up in the recipient’s spam folder.
WordPress VPS Packages
InterServer offers WordPress VPS packages, which come with WordPress pre-installed. You also get support from WordPress experts and truly dedicated resources so you don’t need to worry about noisy neighbors experiencing peaks in traffic or malicious traffic.
What’s also interesting is the sliding scale of resources ranging from 30 GB of SSD and 2 TB of transfer per month to 480 GB of SSD and 32 TB of transfer, allowing you to pick a server with a price and size to meet your needs.
InterServer promises its customers 99.9% uptime, in part because of its partnership with Cloudflare and its caching data center. Of course, a lot of web hosts make similar promises, and by looking at the service-level agreement (SLA), I can tell you that in the event your website has excessive downtime, “credits will be made available to each client on a case-by-case basis, not to exceed 50% of their base monthly fee.”
Free Hosting for Nonprofits
If you’re a nonprofit, InterServer will give you free hosting with unlimited email accounts, space, and bandwidth. This isn’t a feature many companies offer. It’s always nice to work with a company that goes out of its way to make the world a better place.
Ease of use
Pretty Easy to Get Going
It’s not really surprising that InterServer makes it easy for you to get started. After all, a core part of its business plan involves catering to newbies. Any extra step in the account creation and website setup processes could increase the chance of someone heading to an easier-to-use company. That gives them the incentive to make sure the services are as user-friendly as possible — let’s find out how InterServer manages it.
Easy Control Panel
InterServer uses cPanel, which the majority of professional web developers have some experience with. It makes it easy for you to carry out administration tools on your Linux server, which is the industry standard among most Linux hosts.
InterServer has partnered with Acronis to provide a comprehensive backup solution for your valuable files and databases. It’s touted as being one of the fastest, most powerful backup solution available to consumers. While it may be powerful, it’s not the most user-friendly solution and it’s likely overkill if you’re a beginner or newer website owner.
Creating an Account
I created an account and found that the signup process was quick and easy, taking less than five minutes to get started. The interface isn’t exactly the prettiest, but it is at least bug-free, and the same can’t be said about every host. Click here to find out more about my experience, with step-by-step instructions.
Connecting a Domain and Installing WordPress
I also installed WordPress through InterServer’s handy combination of cPanel and Softaculous. Installing WordPress was the easy part, thanks to the one-click installer, but hooking up a domain name was a little trickier. Installing the Cloudflare content delivery network (CDN) was easy, too. Click here for my how-to guide, which takes you through the process.
Pretty Fast, If You’re in the West
Every web hosting provider has critics who are unhappy with the service, and InterServer is no different. One customer said their site was in the bottom 2% for upload speeds in Australia, while another said their site goes down every day and the only way to restore it is to create a support ticket and wait for the company to correct it.
Still, as a general rule, it has more positive reviews than negative reviews, and when I ran a Sucuri page load test, I was reasonably impressed by the performance. It’s far from the best, but for a budget hosting provider, it’s pretty good.
In fact, InterServer fared worse in Bangalore, India, and Sydney, Australia, probably because its servers are based on the other side of the world in North America. These slower speeds dragged the overall average down, but a 0.279-second total loading speed is still pretty good. No complaints here!
Not the Best
If the lack of decent support is a deal-breaker for you, then you might want to look elsewhere. As with most things, you get what you pay for, and InterServer is a budget host that keeps costs low by cutting corners.
InterServer does provide a range of comprehensive tutorials to help you to get started. These are clearly aimed at more rookie users, but even then, there’s plenty to help more seasoned developers when they get backed into a corner and stuck on a particular task.
If you can’t find the help you need in the tips and articles section, you can contact the 24/7 support team via live chat or phone. Don’t be surprised if they listen patiently and then ask you to submit a support ticket, though.
To get a feel for what customer service was like, I sent an email from the online contact form and received a response within five minutes. The same was true when I filed a support ticket, but when I joined the live chat and asked where the servers were located, the agent left the chat as soon as I asked the question.
Still, the response times weren’t too bad, but remember that I was inquiring as a potential customer, so the team might go out of its way to prioritize requests that could earn more money.
InterServer’s prices are pretty cheap, especially for the resources you get, and you can save money by choosing an annual plan instead of paying once a month. Payment options are limited to mainstream credit cards and PayPal.
Cancellations & Refunds
There’s a lot to like about InterServer, so if you do decide to go with it, you might even stay. If you’d rather not, you’re covered with a money-back guarantee, and canceling your account is easy enough.
When I tried to cancel, it took just a couple minutes, and because I was in the 30-day money-back guarantee window, I was also eligible for a refund. I applied for it on a Monday and the money had been refunded in full by Wednesday. Click here to find out more about my experience.