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Reviews and expert opinion Openhost.co.nz

Mark Holden Mark Holden Web Hosting Expert

For almost 15 years, Openhost has provided Windows and Linux hosting solutions. These would be much more appealing to me if the prices were lower and if I’d been able to summon a pre-sales support response.

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Hosting provider Openhost was launched in 2005 and is owned by Umbrellar Ltd. Its servers are located in New Zealand, where it has offices in Auckland, Christchurch, and New Plymouth. The Windows and Linux hosting solutions include shared hosting, email hosting, reseller hosting, VPS hosting, and domain registration.

Openhost’s English-language website has a simple, modern design, and it displays prices in New Zealand dollars. 

Features and Ease of Use

Openhost offers four shared hosting plans for both Linux and Windows; named Starter, Foundation, Professional, and Ultimate. While the plans differ in terms of storage and a few other factors, they have the following features in common:

  • Free domain
  • Daily backups
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Unlimited subdomains
  • Plesk control panel
  • Software installer

Whether Windows or Linux, all plans come with the Plesk control panel that lets you manage all aspects of your hosting via a user-friendly interface. This control panel includes a software installer for several CMS and other applications such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, PrestaShop, TYPO3, and phpBB.

Pricing and Support

Openhost’s hosting plans are slightly expensive compared with international competitors. As you might expect, the Professional and Ultimate Windows plans are pricier than the Linux equivalents.

You can pay by bank transfer or credit/debit card on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, annual, or biennial basis. There is no money-back guarantee as far as I know, but the 14-day free trial gives you two weeks to try the services before you buy them. After the free trial, you could start with the Starter package, and then easily upgrade to any of the higher packages.

This host’s support team can be contacted by telephone, ticket, or email. However, my exploratory email and test support ticket both went unanswered. On the plus side, there is a set of frequently asked questions for every service, and the comprehensive knowledge base contains lots of articles and helpful tutorials:


A Free Domain is included when purchasing any hosting service from Openhost.co.nz


How does Openhost.co.nz match up to the competition?


User reviews

Based on 5 reviews in 1 languages
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New Zealand
March 03, 2021
Is there a worse hosting company in New Zealand?

If there is a worse web hosting/domain registration company in NZ I pray I never meet them. We got stuck with them after they took over Webdrive and integrated it into their truly appalling control panel. We had several hundred domains transferred across and its been an ongoing nightmare transferring them away one at a time. Even after they are moved, they still keep sending out email reminders to clients until the "expiration" date. They are cheap, but they need to be as they are truly awful in every respect. You'd be nuts to use them when you can pay about $5 more a month to use someone competent. I'm not quite sure what their business model is, but it appears to involve buying up smaller better companies, stripping the customers out and forcing them into their awful system. Avoid, avoid, avoid

May 02, 2021

same experience as you, could not have worded it better! we have spent hundreds of hours transferring away from these guys. It is a slow and laborious process. We still have not finished transferring! They are like the gift that keeps giving!

New Zealand
February 15, 2021
Avoid them thay are terrible

They used to be ok when they were locally owned and run could get help when you needed it but now since their buy out they are terrible stay away from them, I have had bad service and they are completely inflexible with a rude call center to make it worse. I'm moving all my clients away as soon as I can.

Rob King
New Zealand
September 19, 2020
Don’t go there…been warned!!

Utterly useless. Worst web hosting you could imagine. Avoid. They transferred the site to a new server, deleted auto payment details, stopped the account, then told me to login and pay. Except they had changed my password on the transfer, so can't login. Have to sit on the phone again to sort out. Not the first this has happened. Unfortunately can't give no stars.

Henk Keyzer
New Zealand
July 29, 2020
Avoid – crap!!

Been with webbase/webdrive/openhost since 2005 as a reseller with over 100 sites, specifically so I could get phone support. Since these companies combined and become one company - their service has become rubbish. No longer provide phone support everything done online to buy them time, when submitting a ticket takes 2 -3 days to get a response and due to the lack of knowledge in many of the front line support much time is wasted with to and froing simply because the first line of techs don't even know their server configurations. Openhost just migrated "webbase" to their openhost servers to provide improved service offerings to their clients. CRAP! - they no longer provided control panel access to clients of resellers. Their servers do not yet provide php 7.3. access - every other reseller we use provides this. When ever support is provided for support - the first response is " upgrade your site" - thats even to those who's websites are at the most current level of release. The techs have no understanding of CMS systems so if clients who are hosted with them ask a question re Wordpress or Joomla the answer is we are not webmasters so please contact someone else. Had enough of the piss poor service migrating my sites to another reseller who can provide service.

Aaron Cooper
New Zealand
April 06, 2020
Utterly Abysmal

Avoid. And be advised that Webdrive has merged with Open Host. Same office address. Same operation. It all went well for so long. But I found more attractive technical stacks, so I decided to cancel my service after 12 years. They charge a month in advance, paid by DD without missing a single payment. When I emailed to cancel at the start of Feb, they said I had an invoice to pay and that I need to contact them when those are paid, only then could they cancel my account. First, effectively what they are saying here is "pay this invoice or we're going to create more". Which is absurd and I'm quite sure, illegal. You cannot refuse to cancel a service. Second (and most of my issue): It's just a terrible and lazy attitude to make customers jump through hoops (like watching their account for an outgoing Direct Debit for an outstanding bill) just to cancel a service. Third, the invoices were generated the day I canceled. So I asked how that works in terms of whether they are actually still valid since they are a month in advance. Not a big deal if they don't refund partial months. Their notification that I need to get back in touch after paying the invoice was sent a few hours after my notice to cancel. I got no reply to three requests over four days asking how to proceed in light of the above. Which I believe is intentionally stalling given past response times. In the end, I never got a reply, I had to call and ask them to respond. I was told over the phone that they require 30 days notice of cancellation and that there would be one pro-rata invoice left to pay next month. Fine and not unusual. I paid the final full invoice manually and awaited the final pro-rata invoice. Fast forward a month and they send me a full invoice again. I email them to remind them that I am expecting a pro-rata invoice for only one-two days service. Seven days later, I get a one line response saying that the full month invoice is due with no other information. When I replied stating that their own staff member told me a pro-rata invoice would be issued and I wasn't prepared to pay a full month's cost for 2 days service on that basis, I got a rather curt reply telling me to read their terms and conditions and failure to pay would result in debt collection. A threat to someone who has paid on time, without fail, for 12 years. I replied asking for clarification on why a staff member would tell me a pro-rata invoice would apply and I'm being told something different via email, I have had no response after 12 days. The most ridiculous part: this invoice is a grand total of twenty dollars. That's how desperate their business is. Milking a full month's billing for technically 2 days of service while ignoring customers for a measly $20. Trivial enough for me to pay, but for most companies, none of the pain above would be worth the time. And certainly not worth the poor reputation costing them multiple times that. Nor is it worth my time writing this. But I decided that their general attitude, abysmal communication and simply ignoring long-term customer merits costing them far more via warning others. Stay away from Web Drive/Open Host. Life is too short to deal with such frustratingly conflicting, disorganized and lazy people on the operations end. There's too much competition in the hosting market for such a poorly-managed company to survive longer than it has to.

Openhost.co.nz REVIEW: BOTTOM LINE

Although Openhost’s Windows and Linux hosting plans provide a decent range of features, it’s not quite enough for the prices charged. I’d also feel better about this host if I’d received a pre-sales support response.


  • 14-day free trial
  • Windows and Linux support
  • Free domain
  • Free SSL certificate


  • Expensive hosting
  • Unresponsive pre-sales support

Visit Openhost for Linux and Windows hosting solutions.

Mark Holden Mark Holden
Mark is a full stack web developer specializing in HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, MySQL, and PHP. When he’s not busy building websites or geeking out over the latest addition to his ever-growing gadget collection, he enjoys playing drums for his progressive rock band. He can also make a mean Spanish omelet.

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