InterServer Review: Quality, Affordable Hosting for Bloggers
InterServer has been providing quality hosting for bloggers and businesses since 1999.
What started out as a two-man team in New Jersey with a single server and a reseller hosting plan is now a mature hosting company that operates three data centers in New Jersey and is in the process of expanding to additional locations, recently to Los Angeles.
What Are The Values of Interserver?
The core principles of InterServer are providing quality service at an affordable rate, serving the needs of freelancers, bloggers, and even Fortune 500 companies.
InterServer offers the following hosting types:
With a variety of multipurpose plans, let’s take some time now to explore your options.
With 19 years of hosting experience, Interserver established itself as a go-to hosting provider for major global brands like Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, and Microsoft.
Today their growing team serves anyone from newbie bloggers to other Fortune 500 companies. Interserver has bagged a total of 11 awards between 2004 and 2012 under the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).
Looking at the track record of the company, their packages are worth evaluating.
InterServer caters to customers worldwide. The company offers several plans suitable for bloggers just getting started as well as for those who require more resources to support rapid site growth.
Shared Web Hosting Plans
Interserver currently offers one shared hosting plan priced at $5.00/month. CloudFlare CDN is included at no extra cost, saving a small online startup valuable funds.
With this plan, you get:
- Unlimited SSD storage
- SitePad website builder
- Unlimited email accounts
- Global content caching
- 450+ cloud apps (some free, others paid)
- Intershield protection
- 30-days money back guarantee
- Free website migration
- Weekly backups
- Free SSL certificate
Shared Hosting Security and Control Panels
Further free add-ons include unlimited bandwidth along with cPanel (Linux) and Plesk (Windows) control panels which bloggers and new webmasters will find useful.
Interserver‘s shared hosting security pack is more than competent for a starting out blogger.
Interserver’s in-house security solution is already included with their starter plan, offering:
- DDoS protection
- Antivirus scanner
- Machine learning firewall
- In-house malware database
There are cheaper shared hosting plans out there, though the overall value for Interserver’s bundle seems to be fair.
VPS & Cloud Hosting
If you need more resources for a blog that’s quickly growing in readership, you can upgrade to a VPS plan and choose between 16 operating systems including Windows, Debian, CentOS, Ubuntu, and Linux.
VPS Hosting is an upsize from shared hosting, usually recommended for growing small businesses.
This plan is fully managed and includes a free migration service; a 99.9% uptime guarantee; high-performance storage; the ability to install various scripts such as WordPress, Joomla, and Magento; as well regular backups and snapshots.
Interserver has an impressive 16 stock VPS plans which growing bloggers can choose from. Performance starts at a base package of 1 CPU Core, 2.048GB RAM, 30GB SSD Storage and 1TB Bandwidth for a surprisingly low $6.00/month. The top-tier plan priced at a still-generous $96.00/month offers:
- 16 CPU Cores
- 32.768GB RAM
- 480GB SSD Storage
- 16GB Bandwidth
WordPress VPS Hosting
Additionally, you have access to a WordPress VPS plan which Interserver’s team claim to have up and running in 20 minutes.
Like the stock VPS plan selection, WordPress plans come in 16 tiers matching the aforementioned performance. For as much as $6.00, having a website up and running is good value. Free website migration is included as standard along with:
- Flexible software options
- Support for multiple programming languages
- Customizable control panel
Many bloggers start out with WordPress as it offers the bare essentials needed to get going. While it’s not the easiest to use, it is customizable enough to make a website your own once you grasp the basic functionalities.
If your blog has seen substantial growth with thousands of daily visitors — or if you plan to sell a high volume of products — then a dedicated server might be a better choice.
This plan includes free data migration, no setup fees, 24/7 uptime monitoring, and managed support. You can customize the server according to your needs in terms of storage space, available memory, and operating system as well as the admin panel used on the backend.
Dedicated Server Performance and Resources
While a dedicated server may be unnecessary for a starting out blogger or one experiencing an early growth spurt, familiarizing yourself with what Interserver’s dedicated plans offer are a fair indication of value.
Starting with the basic dedicated server plan, you get:
- 8GB RAM
- 250GB HDD
- 4 CPU Cores
You can further customize feature set with add-on options like custom operating systems, secondary hard drives, and extended performance extras.
Quick Servers are dedicated servers with a 20-minute setup time that have the full resources of a dedicated server but are run through KVM virtualization.
Like dedicated servers, quick servers include 24/7 uptime monitoring and managed support. However, the servers have already been pre-configured so you don’t have to spend time manually configuring and selecting your RAM specifications.
Under the name of ‘Pro Hosting’, Interserver has an option for those interested in reseller hosting. The solution provides simple cPanel access for each individual user and charges no set-up fees for any of its reseller plans.
While reseller hosting may not be relevant for newcomers, it’s worth knowing about.
All plans come with:
- Unlimited domains
- One-click scripts
- MySQL on SSD
- Unlimited cPanel Accounts
- Client manager via the Web Host Manager
Notable Interserver Features
InterServer offers various standard features, even with their most basic plans including unlimited storage, unlimited data transfer, and free email accounts.
Interserver offers more than 450 cloud apps with their plans – some free and some paid.
Each customer who signs up also receives a free SSL certificate and a free site migration if they are moving from a different hosting company.
InterServer doesn’t offer a free domain as a signup incentive, which is disappointing. You can purchase or transfer a domain name for a small fee during the initial signup process.
What Basics Do You Get?
The list of noteworthy premium features include:
- Weekly backups
- Hundreds of installable scripts
- cPanel control panel
- Plesk control panel
- Free website migration
- CloudFlare CDN
- SitePad website builder
- 50% server capacity
- E-Commerce platforms
- Free SSL Certificates
- 30-day money back guarantee
- An uptime guarantee of 99.99% with generous compensation if not met
As a blogger or newly established webmaster, these prove to be time and money savers in the long run.
SitePad Website Builder
Perhaps not known by the masses like WordPress, Weebly or Joomla, Interserver offers a website builder with over 300 themes, more than 40 widgets and full integration with your chosen control panel.
The sitebuilder comes with features like:
- One-click publishing
- Static pages for fast performance
- Fully responsive
- Easy-to-use design tools
Not the most feature-rich builder, but it’s free and usable.
Free Migration Service
The company takes pride in their free migration service which allows customers to transfer websites hosted with other providers to Interserver. Their technicians provide 24/7 support every day of the week, which includes support with website migrations.
If you are looking to move your site from an existing host and would prefer a helping hand, the Interserver support team seem to be an ideal shoulder to lean on.
With two control panels on offer, Interserver offers multiple means of saving time and money. Offering cPanel (with Linux) and Plesk (with Windows), customers are assured of having access to:
- Easy database management
- Quick-installation (WordPress)
- Email management
- Domain and sub-domain management
- File transfer access
This is what a cPanel control panel looks like via the Web Host Manager.
While cPanel is the most popular and sought-after control panel, users will likely have an equally easy time in learning how to use Plesk, the runner-up.
Both are perfectly suitable for those looking for shortcuts and are included in Interserver plans (not all plans include Plesk, however).
A content distribution network comes in handy for any website. Fortunately, Interserver includes the free usage of CloudFlare, one of the most popular CDNs on the market today, rivaling the likes of Incapsula and Cachefly.
Along with above-standard caching in place from their cheapest plans upwards, customers should expect a speedy site following the initial setup.
Price Lock Guarantee
The company is very transparent when it comes to its pricing.
Unlike some other hosting companies that offer low signup rates, InterServer’s shared hosting plan comes with a price lock guarantee which ensures the price you pay will remain the same for as long as you keep your account.
If you are on a budget and are worried about changing costs due to sleazy terms and conditions, you’ll have nothing to worry about.
Uptime Guarantee and Response Time
InterServer promises a 99.9% uptime guarantee, backed up by its SLA (Service Level Agreement).
If it fails to meet this guarantee in a given month, the company will credit you on a case-by-case basis. On top of that, InterServer also provides a 100% guarantee of uninterrupted electricity as well as a 30-day money back guarantee (shared hosting plans only).
For the sake of insight, we have gathered data from the past 10 months, showing you Interserver’s historical uptime and response time:
|Month & Year||Uptime||Response Time|
|January 2019||99.92%||385 ms|
|December 2018||99.93%||396 ms|
|November 2018||99.87%||398 ms|
|October 2018||99.55%||444 ms|
|September 2018||99.88%||596 ms|
|August 2018||99.69%||623 ms|
|July 2018||99.97%||441 ms|
|June 2018||99.96%||436 ms|
|May 2018||99.80%||540 ms|
|April 2018||99.88%||750 ms|
With an average uptime of 99.845%, Interserver fell short of their promise in the past 10 months. The average response time of 498.2 ms is also a respectable performance score.
50% Server Capacity
InterServer manages to provide reliable servers thanks to the company’s dedication to utilizing just 50% of available server resources.
Because of this, each customer that signs up for its shared hosting plans has more available resources at their disposal than they would with many other hosting companies.
Shared hosting plans with unlimited resources can be a gamble, so Interserver’s 50% server usage comes as blissful news for bloggers looking to purchase shared.
Each shared hosting plan comes with more than 400 installable scripts. Among them is WordPress, which is not only a powerful blogging platform but can be turned into an online shop thanks to numerous plugins like WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads.
InterServer has a hosting plan made specifically for WordPress. This plan allows you to host one WordPress site and includes daily and weekly backups, a daily virus scan, unrestricted use of plugins, and hacked site cleanup.
What E-Commerce Platforms Are Available?
If you’re interested in selling digital products, courses, or physical items in support of your blog, you can take advantage of many e-commerce scripts such as:
What makes InterServer especially attractive for bloggers with an eye for e-commerce is that the company offers speed optimized servers which will help your shop load faster.
Free SSL Certificates
If you want to sell e-books or other digital products on your blog, an SSL certificate is a must. InterServer’s shared hosting plan comes with a free SSL certificate provided by Let’s Encrypt.
If you already have an SSL certificate or if you need a higher level of encryption, you can transfer existing certificates or purchase a validated domain and wildcard certificates provided by ALPHASSL.
Security and Backups
Making security a priority, Interserver currently has 4 datacenters – all designed to keep clients’ data safe. Three of these are located in New Jersey and one in Los Angeles.
All datacanters are said to come with:
- 24/7/365 datacenter support
- Enterprise-grade climate control and redundancy
- 24/7/365 surveillance and maintenance
Their latest Los Angeles datacenter is guarded by security guards 24/7 with motion detection, hand geometry readers and all-around CCTV. Judging from their transparency and high-regard of security, all data seems to be in safe hands.
Billing and Support
All InterServer plans are paid on a monthly basis. There are no contracts and you are free to cancel your service at any time. Only shared hosting plans come with a 30-day money back guarantee. The company accepts all major credit cards as well as PayPal.
Support is available 24/7 via email, live chat, a ticket system, and phone. InterServer also offers an extensive knowledge base with helpful tutorials, guides, and answers to most commonly asked questions. This is a viable option if you prefer to attack a learning curve and do things alone.
With a technically proficient support team, having all-day support is a great perk for the not so tech-savvy.
Pros and Cons of Interserver
To conclude on our verdict of Interserver, take a look at the below summary of pros and shortfalls.
- Dozens of custom plans available at an affordable price
- Great security in pace with state-of-the-art datacenters
- Sufficient support with knowledgeable technical staff
- Free SSL certificates
- A selection of available control panels
- Money-back guarantee not applicable to VPS or dedicated servers (though shared hosting customers are eligible)
- Difficult-to-use domain registrar
- Plans do not include free domains
If you feel like Interserver is not something you would like to commit to, there are similar alternatives with similar blogger-friendly features and WordPress support that may appeal. Some of these alternatives offer freebies that Interserver does not. Compare our suggestions below and see what suits you:
|Disk Space||Unlimited||Unlimited||10 GB||100 GB|
|Bandwidth||Unlimited||Unlimited||10,000 monthly visit cap.||Unlimited|
|Free Backups||Weekly||Not included||Daily||Not included|
Frequently Asked Questions
You will likely have questions or queries about getting started with Interserver, alternatively, you’re already a customer and would like to find out some of the basics. Here are a handful of common questions you could find the answers useful to.
Are all one-click installs free with Interserver plans?
Depending on which plan you go with, this will vary. Many one-click installs are free with most Interserver plans (especially basics like WordPress), but some may come at an additional cost.
Is unlimited storage and bandwidth truly unlimited?
In Interserver’s case, your resources are unlimited, yes. Due to their 50% server capacity, spare resources are always available.
Is it worth paying extra for Interserver’s WordPress plan?
Seeing as the WordPress plan isn’t actually managed, the only difference between it’s shared hosting rival plan is increased security and launch assistance. If you are completely unfamiliar with WordPress, it’s not a bad investment.
Having said that, if you are tutorial-savvy and are happy to watch a guide video on installing WordPress yourself, a shared hosting plan will do you fine.
Can I host with Interserver even though they only have datacenters in the US and I am elsewhere?
Yes, you can. It is usually advisable to aim for datacenters located closer to where your business is based or targeting, but Interserver will serve well for anyone starting out globally.
Should You Choose InterServer?
InterServer caters to a wide range of users and offers different plans to suit each demographic. As such, the company is suitable for bloggers at all stages of growth.
The price lock guarantee, straightforward pricing, and free SSL certificates make the company an attractive choice for those just getting started.
The uptime guarantee and scalability offered with VPS and dedicated servers make it a viable choice for established bloggers, too. Essentially, InterServer can serve your blog at any stage in its life. That alone definitely makes it worth a look.