Launched in 1998, West Host is a long-standing hosting provider with over two decades of service in the industry. Its inception was conceptualized by Chris Russell, a man acknowledged for his leading role in web development. In his ten years of service at West Host, he propelled the company to global heights attracting around 80,000 clients from over 130 countries worldwide. Today he is the managing director of Rock & Hammer ventures.
West Host has continuously been featured in leaderboards mainly appearing in recurrent reviews by independent firms such as NetCraft and CNET. It aims at providing a swift all-round technology that comes with it exceptional customer service. Over the years, the company has grown from offering a single shared hosting framework to a diverse hosting infrastructure. Today, it features VPS hosting, dedicated server hosting, web design, domain registration services, merchant account solutions in its reseller package, and other services.
In 2008, the company accepted an acquisition request by UK2 Group falling in its umbrella shortly after. UK2 Group is a well-known web hosting provider with an authoritative yet expanded reach to most clientele bases all over the world. By West Host combining forces with the group, it gained global recognition expanding its services as well as crafting rates that continue to be highly affordable.
Geographically, West Host resides in the business district of Providence city, Cache County, Utah State. Its data center is located in Salt Lake City in Utah holding servers that host over 1 million websites. Also, it borders Utah State University, a factor that has continuously motivated its expansion and growth over the years. It’s not only a home of research but also it offers countless internship opportunities aimed at promoting the students. With its Webucation program for universities and colleges, it is a hosting provider that’s truly determined to uplift the neighboring community.
|Plan Name||Disk Space||Bandwidth||Currency||Admin panel||OS||Websites||Scripting||Email-Transport||Database||SSH||Databackups||Free Domain||1-Click Installer||Websites Builder||Location||Price|
|Business Hosting||-||-||USD||cPanel||1||Perl,Ruby on Rails,PHP||-||MySQL||$ 6.40|
|Preferred Hosting||200GB||2500GB||USD||cPanel||1||Perl,Ruby on Rails,PHP||-||MySQL||$ 5.20|
|Personal Hosting||50GB||1000GB||AF||cPanel||1||Perl,Ruby on Rails,PHP||-||MySQL||؋ 1.99|
On this section, we’ll now explore various features that West Host brings forth in regards to security, performance, speed, customer service, and control options. We’ll also provide details for their money back guarantee policy and what to remember when requesting compensation for imperfections in service delivery. Let’s go:
To be fair, West Host provides quite a generous amount of features improving performance and speed. Even in its cheaper plans, the speeds are very impressive owing to the regular upgrades in infrastructure and hardware. Here are several that stood out in our assessment of this hosting provider:
A content delivery network serves two major functions: It acts as a firewall and enhances speed of content delivery in diverse locations. It can easily filter out malicious data packets aimed at destabilizing the web server through a DDOS attack. Also, it can serve your site’s content via the closest server increasing loading speeds which are essential for high rankings on search engines. CloudFlare is high-end solution for these functions and performs quite well compared to its competitors. Unfortunately, this inclusion is not available to all plans but can always be integrated at a slight additional cost for plans lacking it.
Website SEO Guru
After finding a good hosting provider, the next big consideration is optimizing your content to be relevant and easily reachable to target audience. Now, West Host is dedicated to boosting its customers’ traffic and thus offers a powerful SEO feature at a little cost. According to the provider, the feature is very simple to use and requires no prior SEO knowledge. Your content is made available on top search engines including Bing, Google, and Yahoo via automatic submissions. Also, the provider scans your website daily eliminating functions that slow it down or affecting its rank on the search engines. Furthermore, they provide insightful analytics, web reports, and simple daily improvement guides increase your competitive edge.
SSD Powered Systems
Solid State Drives are excellent upgrades to traditional hard disks in terms of speed and reliability. They also have a high tolerance capacity to factors that damage data. Some packages including VPS and WordPress store data on SSDs meaning the loading speed of your website will be notably faster.
Cisco Powered Network
Besides being secure, Cisco is a very reliable network solution on any infrastructure. West Host’s network infrastructure is powered by devices developed by this firm. Network speeds of up to 200Gbps are guaranteed on most plans with the limiting factor being the total bandwidth allocated.
Other than hosting, West Host also offers web design services where it provides a decent number of design templates. Most of these are optimized to occupy very little storage space, a factor that lifts weight off the web servers which expose your web elements to the internet.
Integrated Email Hosting
Your website and your email accounts sit on the same server, which if fast enough, increases efficiency in operation. In other West Host’s plans you can open an unlimited number of email accounts or even acquire an independent email server for better service speeds.
Dedicated IP addresses
Although not available on all plans, this feature ensures browsers that have previously visited your website access it faster next time. It eliminates the need for DNS resolving which can be limiting when using slow domain name servers.
Inherent Support of Numerous Programming Languages
West Host supports MySQL, Perl, PHP, Python among other languages. With this, you can add lots of software written in the languages allowing your website to be fluid, interactive, and versatile.
West Host security measures are implemented physically as well as on its virtual infrastructure. It has both software and hardware that limits unauthorized intrusion, interruption of service, and overall failure of guaranteed uptime. There’s confidence in the provider guaranteeing a 99.9% uptime. Here are various security measures we observed in our examination of West Host:
Inbuilt Spam and Virus Remover
On the email servers, the company has in place self-updating virus and spam detectors. These block emails that contain suspicious attachments, security threatening links, and social engineering tools. Since the scans are automatic, the user is exposed to little risk even when they’re vulnerable to spamming attacks.
Malware Removal Software
Clients subscribed to SEO services have as an extra benefit a malware removal tool that strips off lines of codes slowing websites. Usually, these are injected to the operating environments by web malwares.
Physical Data Integrity
The Salt Lake City data center resides in qualified disaster safe zone. Inside, the power sources are redundant with backup power systems and multiple network handlers for increased reliability. Also, physical monitoring of the facility is present 24/7 with digital video surveillance systems implemented. The datacenter is SAS 70 compliant meaning it has been audited and qualified as a sufficient facility for data storage.
We’ve mentioned this feature before. On security, the inbuilt CloudFlare CDN acts as a firewall preventing the web server hosting your website from destabilizing attacks.
Strict Forced Advertising Policy
This hosting provider doesn’t throw in advertising elements in your account regardless of your package. This policy guards your web files from malicious elements that could be injected in inbuilt ad inclusions.
By default, West Host provides a demo version of cPanel as its control panel. Its interface is both friendly and easy to maneuver even when you’ve never used it before. It also allows you to control numerous sections of your account as well as view reports of integrated web reporting software. With it you can access your account status, configure various installed software, manage running services, among other functions.
If you want more control of your account, this hosting provider allows you to upgrade to paid versions of cPanel. There are also plans to integrate server density monitoring function on the existing control panel for convenience.
West Host has diverse communication channels which mostly operate 24/7. They have an interactive live chat, several FAQs in various hosting package pages, a ticketing system, email address, and telephone numbers which are all toll free for US residents. To be honest, the self-service sections in form of FAQs and knowledge base are fairly sparse. Nevertheless, where’s there’s documentation the information is of high quality and very helpful. For billing and sales questions, the support team is available from Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm.
Unlike other web hosting providers, customers are required to contact support staff via the member’s section. But then the live chat function is accessible anywhere on West Host’s website. If fact, when you arrive on various pages the “call for assistance” popup shows.
Another interesting customer service function available is the backup feature. The support staff will mirror your data on another location every week. You can, however, import backup apps from other providers just to be safe.
All the plans come with a 30-day money back guarantee period. There are no hidden clauses regarding refunds as long your account complied with the West Host’s terms of service. Some of the conditions outlined in the section include using your account for legal purposes. The websites or applications you host on their servers must not abuse the resources allocated. As such, you should not host malware, viruses, or services likely to negatively affect the provided framework.
You can cancel the hosting contract on any day and request for reimbursement immediately after. The review of your request takes at least a day but when it goes through, they’ll refund via the payment channel you initially used. Usually, the refunds are 100% unless you purchased other add-ons while registering an account.
West Host freely provides a plethora of templates which you can easily use to build beautiful websites. The templates are optimized and designed to work across multiple platforms including mobile phones, computer browsers, and tablets. The builders also allow you to customize an existing template to suit your preferences. Since a drag ‘n drop tool exists, you can quickly import elements in your offsite storage into the web files.
Interestingly, the website templates support integration of social media contacts, SEO tools, SSL certificates, image editors, and API of popular services/apps.
When hosting a website at West Host, you don’t have to purchase or renew domain names elsewhere. These services are offered for all account owners and a free renewal promised to users who register domain names on the website. It has a wide collection of domain extensions that you can use including checking for possible duplicates for a domain name that you pick. You can also secure a domain name to prevent other interested buyers from acquiring it.
Here are the strengths and imperfections which we noted in our assessment of West Host as a hosting provider:
Free migration services
If you have your website sitting on another web host, the company will transfer your files for free to their infrastructure. They’ll then give you a trial period of 30 days within which you can cancel the hosting contract.
Free domain for life
This is one of the few web hosts that doesn’t charge renewal fees for a domain name registered on their platform. They even issue free domain names for clients using Business and Preferred plans on the shared web hosting package.
West Host backs up web files automatically allowing you to focus on other areas of website management. They don’t charge for the automated backups unless you want the frequency altered.
When you register an account at West Host, it takes a very short while to get it ready for hosting. Also, the sign up process is quite straightforward which is impressive for anyone new to web mastering.
Diverse Hosting options
Whether you want a hobby website or a professional one, West Host has a variety of packages to get you started. The plans are plenty with options for large scale and small scale clients. Besides, you can utilize their templates to better the look and feel of your website for more popularity.
Decent Uptime Statistics
West Host promises a 99.9% uptime which in the course of our 6-month assessment, we found consistent. Its average is 99.94% which is slightly above its guaranteed value.
Lower than standard load time
The average load time for websites is 890ms while West Host has 893ms on the shared web hosting servers which we tested. That’s a few milliseconds slower than the industry standard.
Delays in customer service
The ticketing system although working well has lots of enquiry queues slowing down response time for even urgent concerns. Also, sometimes the live chat feature on mobile platforms freezes communications.
Although some of their resources are advertised as unlimited, they have limits which are well detailed under the terms and conditions page. Be cautious not to exceed set quotas which could affect reimbursements when you wish to cancel your hosting contract.
Can I use West Host outside of Utah?
Yes. West Host is indiscriminate of the geographical locations of people who want to join its platform. You can sign up from anywhere and pick a location from where your website should be served.
Which package should I consider for a blogging website?
West Host’s WordPress Hosting package has the cheapest and straightforward procedures for WordPress. However, if you wish to use other CMS, you should settle for VPS hosting which has dedicated resources and better performance. The bottom line is; you should consider the amount of traffic you have to pick a package that better suits the blogging website.
Can I use a separate website builder and import ready web files in my account?
Sure. You can use other website builders other than the one provided by West Host and import the web files without hitches. The builder supports drag and drop functions so the input will be straightforward.
Is domain registration service free?
No. The domain names have to be paid for initially or secured for future use. However, the renewal service for an existing domain at West Host is totally free.
How do I pay for an account at West Host?
The methods of payment supported on West Host are credit cards and PayPal. Make sure you use matching names for account sign up to have minimal issues when making transactions.
Which control panel does West Host offer and can I use an alternative one?
The default control panel on West Host hosting platform is cPanel. Yes, you can use an alternative one if the demo version doesn’t suffice your needs. Also, you can upgrade to a paid version of cPanel to unlock advanced features.
Which app installers are available for my account?
West Host allows installation of third party apps using Softaculous which has minimal procedures to use. Nevertheless, be cautious when adding other software in your operating environment for safety purposes. West Host has a disclaimer for loss of data from such installations thus you should be careful.