Host Excellence Review: Unmanaged Web Hosting for Blogs
We find that most bloggers searching for a web host are concerned with getting a fair price and having access to quality customer support when it’s needed. When you’re starting out, web hosting may seem highly technical (and full of insider terms), so it can be difficult to figure out whether the plan you’re considering is actually giving you good value for your money. That’s where blogging.com comes in.
We’re focused on price and customer support, but we also like to see dedicated tools for bloggers such as easy one-click installation for things like WordPress and e-commerce tools.
Host Excellence covers the majority of these requirements. Even though their sales copy doesn’t explicitly target bloggers, they have plenty of features that bloggers look for, including:
- Free e-commerce tools
- SSL certificates for those looking to monetize.
- Sitelock Security support
- An easy-to-use DIY Site Builder, of interest to those who don’t already have a blog.
The pricing is competitive and you’ll have 24/7 access to their customer support team.
Let’s take a closer look to see how Host Excellence faces when it comes to helping you launch your blog.
What’s in it for Bloggers?
Each hosting account supports one-click installation for content management systems (CMSs) like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. Bloggers can tap the knowledgebase articles explaining for helpful information about setting up a WordPress site and publising posts.
This provider doesn’t offer managed WordPress hosting plans or unmanaged packages with themes and plugins. Therefore, the main reason a blogger would consider Host Excellence is due to the one-click installer and the pricing.
Host Excellence provides you with easy options for adding photo galleries, message forums, and live chat systems to your WordPress blog.
For Geeks: They also have a wide variety of unique scripts made for bloggers who might be looking for more advanced development options, or for those needing something out of the ordinary.
For instance, more advanced developers will enjoy the scripting for PHP, Perl, CGI-BIN, and Ruby on Rails.
You’ll also find complimentary scripts for “online diaries,” which basically allow you to construct a simple blog without needing to install a CMS like WordPress. It’s a great tool for setting up a personal site since technical know-how isn’t required.
DIY Site Builder
For an additional fee, Host Excellence offers its Site Builder tool, packed with templates, customizable modules, and publishing options. There are hundreds of templates to choose from, along with interesting features like the Facebook Page Builder. The point of the Site Builder is to allow bloggers to easily build their own site with drag-and-drop components and no need to code. Bonus: all of the templates are mobile-ready, meaning they’re built to self-adjust so they look good on any device screen size.
Selling on Your Blog
Want to add an online store? With WordPress, you could go with WooCommerce, but one of the simpler ways to add a small online store is by going through your host.
For example, if you manage a gardening blog, and you’d like to make some money by selling e-books or useful gardening tools, the Host Excellence hosting infrastructure is ready for online shops. You get a free shared SSL certificate to keep your customer data safe, and the site builder comes in handy for handling the design process.
Each e-commerce store set up on Host Excellence receives a merchant account for accepting credit cards. A payment gateway and virtual terminal are packaged into this merchant account, allowing you to protect your transactions and transfer the money to the proper account. The great thing about this service is that there’s a free setup for all bloggers and small businesses. You’ll have to put in the design work, but Host Excellence is there to launch the online store on your current site.
Behind the Scenes
The Host Excellence company started in 1999, and it’s still a privately held company. The current owner and CEO of Host Excellence, Fathi Said, has a customer-centric strategy which emphasizes attentive customer service.
According to the Host Excellence website, the company “rose from the ashes” after the dot-com bubble of the late 90s. The quality of its customer service has been a contributing factor to Host Excellence’s longevity.
You can browse customer testimonials on the Host Excellence website.
Another factor is that the company owns and operates its own datacenter in Columbus, Ohio. Because of this control, Host Excellence has decided to dedicate each individual server to one task. Many hosting companies host a wide variety of services, apps, websites, and other items on one server, often draining resources and decreasing performance. Combine the ownership control with redundant cooling systems, powerful backup facilities, and other security measures and you’ve got a strong infrastructure to support your blog.
Although Host Excellence mainly operates out of Columbus, the corporation actually has servers, offices, and support reps in five countries. Some of these locations include Romania, India, and Ukraine.
Customer Support That’s Made for Bloggers
Along with the free, 24/7 customer support, Host Excellence provides phone support (with the number plastered right on the homepage). This tells us that the company isn’t trying to send you through the knowledgebase before you call in.
Furthermore, Host Excellence has a comprehensive FAQ detailing information about the company, pricing, hosting options, and more. You can contact Host Excellence through live chat or make a ticket and hear back from a support rep within 24 hours.
Finally, Host Excellence makes its own video tutorials to guide you through topics like transferring domains, working with webmail, and configuring your options in WordPress.
The Wrap on Host Excellence
This host is an all-around solid choice for bloggers who don’t require managed hosting to get set up. On the plus side, it offers straightforward guidance via its Web Hosting Manual, video tutorials, FAQ and knowledgebase. You can opt for a phoner to get the assistance you need. And the pricing is very attractive.