Web Hosting Hub Review: Easy, Low-Cost for Bloggers
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If you are looking for a web hosting company focused on shared hosting plans (and variants of these shared plans catering to WordPress users), look no further than Web Hosting Hub.
Why Consider Web Hosting Hub?
No matter what niche they occupy, website owners at all experience levels need a few things for a successful blog or supporting e-commerce site. At the top of the list is reliable, budget-friendly hosting.
The good news is that site owners have a lot of choices to fill this need. The not-so-great news is that all those options mean that making a decision can be difficult.
But there’s more good news: user-friendly hosting providers like Web Hosting Hub can simplify the entire process.
Whether you’re in the process of creating an e-commerce store to support your ongoing blogging efforts, or you’re just getting started as a professional blogger, Web Hosting Hub can help you solve the hosting puzzle and turn your attention to more pressing matters, like growing your blog and selling your products.
About Web Hosting Hub
Web Hosting Hub specializes in offering reliable, low-cost shared hosting services for small to mid-sized businesses.
Accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2010, the company enjoys an A+ rating. It serves over 40,000 customers and employs over 200 workers in the U.S.
The company is also committed to investing in green technology.
Web Hosting Hub’s Shared Hosting Plans
Web Hosting Hub specializes in “shared hosting” (as do many providers in this budget segment of the hosting services market).
What is Shared Hosting?
Shared hosting places many websites onto a single server. All the sites then draw from a common pool of resources.
Typically, with shared hosting, there is little separation from one site to another, so this isn’t as secure as a premium option — like dedicated hosting — at a much higher cost.
Isolation Boosts Security
Some shared hosts though, including WebHostingHub and SiteGround, “isolate” accounts (websites) on the shared server in a way that significantly boosts security.
You can choose from among three separate tiered plans, all with fairly reasonable monthly fees.
The Spark Plan
The entry-level Spark plan is a good choice if you’re getting started on a budget. It includes everything you need to host up to two blogs, and you get quite a few bonuses, including:
- Unlimited space on solid state drives (SSDs) for extra fast speeds — you also don’t have to worry about ever running out of space for your blog posts, images, videos, and so on
- A free SSL certificate
- Unlimited email accounts and bandwidth
- $150 of advertising credits
The Nitro Plan
The mid-range Nitro plan builds on the Spark plan and offers an unlimited resource allocation for an unlimited number of websites.
The Dynamo Plan
The Dynamo Plan appears to be identical to the Nitro plan on paper, but for those who need fast speeds and increased performance, the Dynamo plan gets you hosting on a high-performing server.
Web Hosting Hub’s WordPress Support
Web Hosting Hub does not offer WordPress-specific plans. They offer the shared hosting plans we mentioned above, but on the company’s WordPress page, it points out several WordPress-friendly features included in all plans. These include:
- Having WordPress pre-installed onto your environment
- Free customizable themes for your blog
- Zero-downtime WordPress transfers from your current host to Web Hosting Hub
If you’re looking for a host that offers WordPress solutions that are distinct from their general web hosting options, look elsewhere.
Extras Provided in All Plans
The company offers a free domain credit with annual plans, as well as free SSL certificates, which are included with all plans.
Green Web Hosting
And as a nice bonus, customers are supporting a company that’s committed to investing in green technology; it was the first organization to open a green data center in Los Angeles.
Extras Provided in the Top Two Plans
With the top two plans — Nitro and Dynamo — you can also enjoy:
- A significant discount on professional web design services
- Your choice of data center location for your website’s servers
- Unlimited domains and subdomains
Let’s take a look at some of the key features that come with your Web Hosting Hub service.
cPanel Control Panel
Web Hosting Hub includes a cPanel Control Panel in all its hosting plans to make it easy for you to manage your account. cPanel is a well-known brand of control panel and it’s widely used by web hosts.
Some of the things you can do with the cPanel include:
- Use the 1-click installation for hundreds of apps for your blog, including WordPress, Drupal, Magento, shopping carts, and more
- Manage the unlimited number of email accounts Web Hosting Hub offers
- Access your blog statistics/analytics and logs
- Create backups and data transfer
- Manage your files
- Control the domains used for your blog
- Install SSL certificates, new programming languages, and other back-end tools and technologies
Web Hosting Hub doesn’t really do any cPanel modifications, so if you’re coming from a host that also offers you a cPanel, you’ll feel right at home with Web Hosting Hub.
One thing to be aware of is that Web Hosting Hub doesn’t include free backup services on any of its plans. Backups are available through free cPanel tools, but you’ll have to remember to do it yourself.
Alternatively, you can go the automatic route with Mozy, a cloud backup service, but you’ll have to pay an additional (though reasonable) fee for access to it.
Site Builder Tools
Busy bloggers appreciate site builders, especially when it comes to an e-commerce addition to your existing brand. With Web Hosting Hub, you get access to BoldGrid, a drag-and-drop site builder with a WordPress base that provides the benefits of WordPress but with a slightly easier interface.
You can also enjoy one-click installations of a number of useful scripts and applications via Softaculous, which gives you access to all kinds of content management systems like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and Magento.
Best of all, you’ll get access to cPanel, the world’s most intuitive user interface when it comes to working with your hosting tools, which is used on all of Web Hosting Hub’s shared hosting packages.
QuickStarter: The $99 Hassle-Free Website Option
Don’t want to create your own website? QuickStarter is a $99 one-page custom website design service offered by Web Hosting Hub.
You’ll get a scrollable, single-page SEO-optimized website delivered in 2 business days plus a business email.
After you sign up for hosting, you can access QuickStarter directly from your control panel. You’ll fill out a request form and then the Web Hosting Staff will get in touch with you on next steps.
If your plan doesn’t come with all of the custom domain names you need (or you are in need of a domain name, but not web hosting services), you can purchase one from Web Hosting Hub.
Alternatively, if you are unhappy with your current domain registrar, you can transfer your domain to Web Hosting Hub.
Email Accounts and Addresses
All of Web Hosting Hub’s hosting plans come with an unlimited number email accounts, which means that you can create as many email addresses and inboxes as you would like using the same domain name you’re using for your blog (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org).
To protect yourself (and your users) against spam, you can take advantage of Spam Filters, cPanel’s interface for Apache SpamAssassin.
By default, Spam Filters is disabled, but you can enable it to label and prevent spam from reaching your inboxes. Spam Filters offers 10 different levels of strength so that you can set the level of protection most appropriate for your situations.
Web Hosting Hub is primarily a shared hosting provider, so it isn’t strictly about e-commerce. But you will get access to tools and applications that help you build an e-commerce site, integrate a shopping cart and payment processor, and get your store online as quickly as possible.
You can explore popular e-commerce apps such as OpenCart, Magento, PrestaShop and more. You’ll get unlimited products, as well as support for multiple SSL certificates, suPHP encryption, and firewall protection for advanced site security.
New accounts also receive a helpful bonus from Web Hosting Hub: a credit of up to $250 (depending on the plan you sign up for) that you can use for advertising with Google AdWords, Bing, or Yahoo! to help drive traffic to your e-commerce site.
Caveats to Using Web Hosting Hub for E-Commerce
With that said, Web Hosting Hub probably isn’t the best choice if your primary goal is to set up an online store. You definitely could do so, but you will be doing a lot of the legwork when it comes to setting up your e-commerce platform, your website, the necessary security infrastructure (including private SSL certificates), and so on.
Furthermore, Web Hosting Hub is a shared hosting provider, which complicates things when it comes to setting up an environment that is secure enough to handle credit card payments.
Infrastructure and Security
Web Hosting Hub offers solid-state drives (SSDs) which are up to twenty times faster than hard drives, with faster read/write speeds as well as better uptime rates. Your site speeds should improve as a result.
The company has data centers in Virginia and in Los Angeles, so both the west and east coasts are well represented.
Users on the Nitro and Dynamo plans (the top two plans) can choose their datacenter location preference. This could also boost page load times and increase stability during heavy traffic periods.
Uptime and Performance
How does Web Hosting Hub actually do when it comes to uptime and performance? To answer this question, we took a look over the data we’ve gathered over the past couple of months, and we find an average uptime of 98.3% and an average response time of 368 ms (milliseconds).
We did note that the uptime generally exceeded 99% — there was a three-day outage in November 2018 that dragged the average down, but we aren’t sure if this was a result of attacks on the server or a planned weekend maintenance period.
What Kind of Customer Support is Available?
You can access Web Hosting Hub’s customer support representatives through several methods, including live chat, telephone, email, and a help portal including a fairly extensive knowledgebase.
The portal also includes a number of articles specific to e-commerce, but the topics are restricted to specific e-commerce applications and solutions offered in Web Hosting Hub shared hosting plans.
Some of the company’s competitors also offer more generalized strategic guidance in setting up an online store, marketing products, and increasing traffic to the store site.
24/7 U.S.-Based Support
Support is available to customers every day of the year, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. And all of its support staff employees are located in the U.S.
The company has a somewhat inactive Facebook page as well as a more active Twitter account. However, while you can reach out to the company through its social media accounts, it doesn’t look as if it uses these pages as a regular support method. Most inquiries are taken straight to private email, judging from replies.
Web Hosting Hub features something called an “Account Management Panel” or AMP through which you can access anything related to your account and billing.
There, you can renew your account term, cancel your account, print out invoices, and set reminders for payment due dates.
You can pay your Web Hosting Hub invoice on a monthly or annual basis. The company gives a nifty discount if you’re able to pay for a year or more at a time, up to three years. The company accepts payments from most major credit cards, as well as PayPal.
90-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Web Hosting Hub has an impressive 90-day guarantee for new customers. While not all fees are refundable, you can expect a full refund of all costs that are tied directly to your hosting services.
Excluded from the refund policy are items such as SSL certificates, domain privacy costs, and domain registration fees.
If you need more advanced hosting options you may want to look into Web Hosting Hub’s parent company, InMotion Hosting.
Managed WordPress Hosting
You may also want to explore “managed WordPress hosting” – this is hosting that features technology platforms optimized for superior WordPress hosting speed and performance. It’s pricier, but given that many technical details are taken care of for you, it may be a time saver.
Is Web Hosting Hub Right for You?
Web Hosting Hub isn’t taking the hosting space by storm or lighting it on fire or providing anything completely unique and jaw-droppingly useful. Then again, most hosting providers don’t.
What you want from hosting is reliability, value, and ease of use. Web Hosting Hub hits those marks well. The company focuses on the needs of small business users, and bloggers are definitely included.
Sure, you’ll have fewer items on the total service menu from which to choose, but Web Hosting Hub provides everything most bloggers and small business owners need, whether they’re setting up a new blog or launching an e-commerce branch of your existing blog brand.
Contributing editor: Sherrie Gossett