Product Name: HostNine Shared Hosting
Offer URL: https://hostnine.com/
HostNine Review: Summary
If you are hosting your website elsewhere, HostNine will transfer it for free no matter what plan you have subscribed to. Improved uptimes since last year. Decent value if you care about uptime.
- Significant uptime improvements
- Transparent, no tricks pricing
- One-click installations
- Expensive and not reasonable (value for money)
HostNine, founded in 2006 and acquired by EIG in 2012, has three shared hosting plans that are slightly more expensive than average. Does this mean that you are going to get more for your money? Keep reading to find out!
Originally founded back in 2006, HostNine is one of the “younger” hosting companies when compared to those established in the late-1990s. The company spent six years as an independent host before being gobbled up by the web hosting goliath Endurance International Group—the owners of Bluehost, FatCow, iPage, and several others.
HostNine likes to big itself up on their website with lots of great claims, smiley faces, and promises. Does any of this hold true, though? We have seen time and time again that hosting companies like to bend the truth when it comes to the various claims that they make.
Is HostNine any different from the majority?
That is what we are going to find out in our review of HostNine today.
We have done our research and weighed everything up in a “pros” and “cons” format. What you read here is the honest, unbiased truth—no, we haven’t been paid to write this HostNine review.
Using the information that we have provided will aid you in making the best, most well-informed decision that aligns with your personal needs as well as the needs for your website.
- What’s Unique About HostNine?
- HostNine Review: What We Loved About HostNine
- A Seamless Registration Process
- A Choice of Several Data Centers
- Free Website Migration
- Transparent Renewal Pricing
- 45-Day Money Back Guarantee
- One-Click Installs for Content Management Systems
- Above Average Uptime and Improving
- HostNine Review : Things We Didn’t Like
- Their Bottom-Tier Plan is Very Limited
- No Free SSL Certificate
- “Unlimited” Plans with Low Restrictions
- Expensive in Terms of Overall Value
- HostNine Pricing
- HostNine Final Thoughts
What’s Unique About HostNine?
HostNine is one of only a few websites to not play games with renewal pricing. When your initial subscription is up, you won’t be facing a massive hiking up of the monthly price you pay—it stays the same at each renewal. The price you pay now will be the price you pay in three, five, or 10 years.
We’re not sure if you’ll be grandfathered in if their pricing model changes, but at least this is a better model than the rest of the hosting industry.
HostNine Review: What We Loved About HostNine
These are some of the positives that stood out the most to us.
A Seamless Registration Process
Some hosting companies make it overly difficult to sign up and begin using their service.
Not HostNine, though; the entire registration process is pretty seamless and streamlined. This is helped in part due to the modern and user-friendly website that HostNine has built. It is organized, easy to navigate, and it displays all the important information upfront so that you don’t need to go digging for it.
Lots of hosting companies were founded and built their websites back in the 1990s and early 2000s, and this is reflected in their overall look and feel. This makes for a less than ideal experience on modern machines and smartphones.
A Choice of Several Data Centers
In an ideal world, you would be able to choose a data center close to your target audience no matter where you are physically located.
This is not the case most of the time though. Many hosting companies offer one data center, two at a push, that are typically located in the US only. For somebody wanting to target a global market or an audience on another continent, this is not an ideal situation.
On all other plans besides the bottom-tier one, you can choose from six different data centres in the US, UK, Singapore, Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands. This is an impressive breadth of locations that should cover all websites.
On the bottom-tier plan, you can only have your website hosted in their US data center, just so you know.
Free Website Migration
If you are already hosting a website elsewhere, HostNine will migrate it across for you totally free of charge. There is a catch to this, though—you can only have a site migrated that uses cPanel. Fortunately, cPanel is so widely used that it is highly likely your website is using it.
So, whether you have one or multiple sites in your portfolio and are looking to move hosts, HostNine is a great fit on the migration side of things.
Unlike with Bluehost, there is no three-digit price to pay for the pleasure of a migration.
Transparent Renewal Pricing
Unlike so many other hosting companies, HostNine does not hike up your price when you renew after your initial subscription. This practice is the scourge of the hosting industry and it is such a shame that so many hosting companies employ it without the courtesy of stating such on their website.
Whatever price you pay for your first HostNine subscription you will continue to pay all the way throughout your HostNine journey, whether it be for one year or 10 years.
In contrast to other hosting companies who start their pricing at a couple of dollars per month and then double, triple, and even quadruple it at renewal, this makes HostNine a very favorable host.
With HostNine, you don’t need to worry about any sneaky pricing tricks that will hit you a few years down the line.
45-Day Money Back Guarantee
With HostNine, you can try out the service risk-free for 45 days thanks to their 45-day money back guarantee. It is common for hosting companies to offer this type of guarantee, however, the industry standard period is 30 days.
If, for whatever reason, you are unhappy with HostNine’s service, you can get a refund by canceling your account and contacting customer support.
There are a few deductions that can be made to refunds where applicable:
- The cost of a “free” domain name;
- SSL certificates;
- Dedicated IP addresses;
- Setup and processing fees; and
- WHMCS license fees.
All hosting companies make these standard deductions from refunds; the situation with HostNine is no different to any other hosting company.
After 45 days, HostNine will offer you a prorated refund accounting for how long your subscription has been active and how long is left. Many hosting companies don’t offer this.
One-Click Installs for Content Management Systems
If you are wanting to launch your website using WordPress or other popular content management systems such as Drupal or Joomla, HostNine’s plans all have one-click installations available for them.
Using these, you can install the most recent iteration of each CMS and avoid the lengthy, arduous, and semi-technical installation and configuration process.
This saves you time (and unnecessary stress)!
Above Average Uptime and Improving
As a general rule of thumb, we want to be seeing a monthly average uptime of 99.95%. We believe any hosting company that isn’t able to achieve 99.95% isn’t worth considering for long-term sustainability.
Of course, if a hosting company has 99.99% uptime for 11 months in a year and an unexpected freak occurrence knocks the average right down to 99.94%, that’s a little different.
Historically, HostNine’s uptime has been consistently below the average figure of 99.95% month-on-month. Recently, however, they have significantly improved. Several months throughout the last year have seen uptime figures of 100%.
Between April 2019 and April 2020, HostNine managed to achieve a monthly average of 99.97%. Since this is above the figure of 99.95%, we are happy to give them the thumbs up for uptime with the improvements considered, however, there is no guarantee that they can stick to this and HostNine has had several uptime-related complaints.
HostNine Review : Things We Didn’t Like
Although things started off well, there were a few things that marred our opinion of HostNine. Unfortunately, some of these are inexcusable.
Their Bottom-Tier Plan is Very Limited
On HostNine’s bottom-tier plan, you do not get to choose your own data center and a free domain name is not included. Despite this, their bottom-tier plan is a lot more expensive than many other hosting companies’ bottom-tier plans.
So, that’s value for money out of the window, then. Oh, and you can only get their cheapest plan at the cheapest price if you subscribe for 24 or 36 months. Ouch.
We will explore this in more detail later.
No Free SSL Certificate
An SSL certificate (for those of you who are unfamiliar, an SSL certificate gives you “https” at the start of your URL) is a must-have for any website these days. Without an SSL certificate, Google may label your site as “unsecured” and this is a major turn off for web users who are becoming increasingly aware of today’s technological security issues.
Also, did you know that having a secure site (ie – https) is a Google ranking factor?
The majority of hosting companies will throw in an SSL certificate for free as they know how important they are. In fact, any half-decent host will. Not HostNine, though; an SSL certificate will cost you a cool $39.99.
“Unlimited” Plans with Low Restrictions
Although their plans are “unlimited” in terms of disk space, there are hidden limitations. These are:
- 10% CPU usage;
- 512 MB memory;
- 50 processes running simultaneously;
- 150,000 inodes (files); and
- 500 emails per 60-minute period.
These are relatively low and you may find yourself being penalized and charged for hitting and exceeding them.
Expensive in Terms of Overall Value
For what you are getting, HostNine’s plans are a bit too expensive. The lowest price plan you are going to get is at $7.69 when you subscribe for 24 or 36 months, and you don’t even get to choose your own data centre.
There are simply plenty of hosting companies out there who will give you a whole lot more for your money.
You don’t even get a free domain name, not even for the first year, on this plan, either; you can only get these on the Business and Enterprise plans, but we will explore this in more depth later.
HostNine has three different shared hosting plans: Personal; Business; and Enterprise. All plans can be billed monthly or annually and each one comes with different features and resources.
|Choice of server location||USA-only||Yes||Yes|
|Free automated back-ups||Yes||Yes||Yes|
This is HostNine’s basic, bottom-tier shared hosting plan. For the price, however, you’d think it was a mid-tier plan. The Personal shared plan will cost you:
- $9.12 if billed month-to-month; or
- $7.6 per month if billed and paid annually (12, 24, and 36 months).
Remember, you don’t get a free domain name with this plan, either.
The personal plan’s features do include:
- “Unlimited” disk space and bandwidth subject to fair use;
- The ability to host a single domain (website);
- Anti-DDoS protection;
- Anti-malware protection;
- Unlimited email and FTP accounts;
- Softaculous auto-installer; and
- A free site transfer.
Value for money? Maybe.
Next up we have the Business plan. The price of this is almost as or more expensive as some of the top-tier plans at other, better shared hosting providers.
Are you noticing a theme here?
The Business shared plan will cost you:
- $16.27 if billed month-to-month; or
- $12.20 if billed and paid for annually (12, 24, and 36 months).
The Business plan’s features include:
- Everything from the Personal plan;
- Choice of six data centres;
- Free automated backups; and
- Unlimited domains (websites.)
Although it is better than the Personal plan, it’s still not good value for money.
Enterprise is the top-tier plan that is aimed towards larger websites with higher amounts of traffic.
Do we need to say that it’s not great value for money, again?
The Enterprise plan will cost you:
- $21.99 when billed monthly; and
- $16.49 if billed and paid for annually (12, 24, and 36 months.)
Again, you get a free domain with this. The plan’s features include:
- Everything from the Business and Personal plans; and
- A free SSL certificate ($40.00 “saving”);
You will also have your website housed on a server with better hardware for the higher price.
HostNine Final Thoughts
So, do we recommend HostNine?
While they are good in some aspects, they fall down in several other areas. The value for money isn’t there for the higher-end plans, especially when compared with other shared hosting plans.
There are so many more hosts out there who will give you far more for your money. If you are wanting to stretch your dollar as far as it will go, HostNine is not the right host for you.
But the uptime shows a ton of value. Having such great uptime means it’s worth paying for, especially for those who want to rank high on Google.
That being said, there is no guarantee that they will maintain this improvement and not slip back into the uptime problems that were rife just over a year ago.