CoolHandle Review: The Right Web Host for Your Blog?
In the competition for bloggers’ hosting-budget funds, there are many solid contenders. And it can be fairly difficult to sort out the good from the bad.
In fact, for many beginners in this segment of the market, it’s hard to tell one company from another.
Some companies differentiate by specializing in certain niches, based on demographics or expertise. Others compete on price or features.
CoolHandle is targeted towards bloggers and small business owners, who need reliability and a basic mix of value and features. However, it does have a few restrictions attached to certain plans that may not make a lot of sense for some.
If you’re shopping for a hosting provider, CoolHandle is worth a closer look, but it’s important to evaluate its terms and plans carefully before making a decision.
About the Company
CoolHandle Hosting, LLC is an on-demand web hosting provider that targets primarily small and mid-sized business customers, as well as individuals. The company offers the same usual range of hosting and related digital services that you’d expect to find from other providers in this space.
- Founded in 2001, CoolHandle is based in Los Angeles, California. In 2010, the company was acquired by ProNetHosting.net as a subsidiary.
- CoolHandle states they have reconfigured their infrastructure architecture to reduce its carbon footprint and save energy. The company also offsets its energy use by buying certified Green-E RECs (“renewable energy credits”).
- As of December 5, 2017, CoolHandle has earned a D- rating from the Better Business Bureau “Customer Review Rating.” (CoolHandle is not BBB-accredited.)
CoolHandle WordPress Hosting Plans for Bloggers
CoolHandle offers three WordPress hosting plans that bloggers will appreciate.
The plans allow you to build and host a varying number of domains per account, ranging from one with the entry-level plan to an unlimited number of sites with the top-level plan. The plans are attached to tiered price points.
If your blog is being hosted elsewhere currently, you’ll appreciate CoolHandle’s free migration service. For new WordPress blogs, installation takes just one click.
Whether you’re a newbie or experienced WordPress blogger, you’ll have access to technical experts on staff with CoolHandle. That leaves you free to focus on actual blogging.
While the three plans generally offer the same features, the limitations attached to those features vary quite a bit among the plans.
For example, the entry-level plan permits only a single WordPress website, 50 GB of storage space, and — most unusually in this market — no more than 25,000 visitors a month. The mid-level plan allows 250,000 monthly visitors, while the top plan seems to permit unlimited visitors each month.
This is a strange restriction that we don’t often see in shared hosting plans. It’s far more common in e-commerce plans. And while most new bloggers won’t see 25,000 visitors in their first months on the web, it’s definitely possible.
Given that other providers won’t limit you in this regard, it seems like a strange choice, and you might be able to find a comparably priced plan elsewhere without that restriction.
However, in other respects, these plans are fairly loaded with features. Chief among them is the included access to a global content delivery network (CDN).
CDNs help bloggers by connecting visitors around the world to a mirrored version of your site that’s located on a server geographically closest to the visitor in question. This traffic management provides a number of benefits. For example, a CDN will help your blog stay up during traffic spikes. Further, CDNs keep your blog pages loading quickly, which in turn improves user experience as well as your blog’s SEO.
Other CoolHandle Hosting Plans
CoolHandle also provides three general-purpose shared hosting plans. All three plans offer unlimited bandwidth, and the top two plans come with unlimited data transfers as well. The entry level is limited to 50 GB per month.
The entry-level plan is limited in other ways, as well. You’ll get a single live domain, one parked domain, and up to 25 sub-domains. Also, you’ll be limited to five email accounts per account.
The top two account levels give you unlimited domains — live, parked, and subdomains included — as well as an unlimited number of email accounts. Customers will also enjoy bonuses such as substantial advertising and marketing credits. Account holders at the top level also enjoy enhanced site performance and priority customer support options.
As with the company’s WordPress-specific hosting, these plans also include free site migration assistance. So if your blog is already in existence on another company’s servers, CoolHandle pros will help you port it over to your new digital home on the web.
Other Features & Services for Bloggers
CoolHandle offers additional mechanisms for bloggers to add income streams to their business plans.
The company’s affiliate program offers the opportunity for bloggers to earn revenue by promoting CoolHandle’s packages to other bloggers. If you sign up with CoolHandle and are delighted with the service, this would be a natural fit for you. You’d already want to recommend them, and the company will pay you a fee for business that you send their way. You’ll receive creative assets, such as banners and other images, content-rich reviews and tutorials, to help in your promotion.
Reseller hosting accounts are also available, giving tech bloggers and those in related niches a perfect opportunity to supplement income through hosting services. CoolHandle takes care of the hardware and infrastructure, and you can focus on building your own little hosting agency empire under your own name.
The infrastructure CoolHandle utilizes includes a Los Angeles-based datacenter that houses its servers.
The structure employs cooling systems to maintain optimal temperatures, redundant backup power sources, off-site monitoring of resources, and on-site security to keep the servers secure.
The company guarantees a 99.9% uptime rate. If you’re a shared hosting or reseller hosting customer, and your uptime falls below that rate, CoolHandle will compensate you for the prorated lost time.
And if neither of those avenues of self-help solves the problem, CoolHandle utilizes a ticket-based support system for customers requiring individualized assistance on technical and account-related issues.
CoolHandle maintains a presence on both Twitter and Facebook. However, neither social media account is very active, nor do they appear to be practical avenues for support.
Unfortunately, there does not seem to be any live-chat option or at least none that’s disclosed or available on the publicly available portion of the company’s site. However, the site does state that support is available via the ticket system or through a toll-free telephone number 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
CoolHandle: Is It Right for Bloggers?
If you’re a new or experienced blogger who is most concerned about value and ease of use, CoolHandle may be a good solution for your brand.
Likewise, WordPress bloggers who are keen to minimize effort in migration and installation will appreciate CoolHandle’s features.