WestHost Review: Blogger and WordPress-ready Hosting
Right from the start, you get a sense that WestHost knows what it’s doing. Originally founded in 1998 and later acquired by UK2Group in 2008, WestHost has a longevity in internet services and the professional backing that makes it worth a serious look.
“WestHost is all about helping our customers start out and grow their businesses online.”
That phrase is right on the home page of the WestHost site, and it sounds perfect for a blogger, right?
If that doesn’t sell you, then scroll to the section where WestHost asks you to self-identify (e.g., blogger, writer, web designer, small business) and describe what you need (e.g., web hosting, email hosting, e-commerce). Don’t be surprised when you receive a personalized recommendation of services based on your specific needs — because that’s what WestHost does.
It anticipates what any customer could possibly need and then delivers a set of services to cover them.
Which WestHost Services Actually Matter for Bloggers?
The one problem you may encounter when assessing whether WestHost is a suitable blog hosting platform is the number of services you have to sift through. WestHost does a lot and, to be honest, you won’t need most of it. That said, WestHost has a number of solutions that are ideal for blogs, so let’s zero in on those.
Specifically, these are the two types of hosting packages that are the most beneficial for bloggers.
Although WordPress hosting is more expensive than WestHost’s basic shared web hosting, it’s a much better deal if you want less to worry about.
- It includes one free domain
- You’ll get access to free and premium templates to get your site up and running more quickly than if you were to do it yourself
- These plans include backups, malware removal, and Cloudflare CDN (most of which you’d have to purchase separately with shared hosting).
The only thing that might give you hesitation is the cap put on the number of monthly visitors. However, if you’re just starting out or run a mostly local or highly niche blog, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Website Builder Hosting
The second hosting option we’d recommend is WestHost’s website builder. The site builder tool is a great alternative to WordPress for users who don’t want to use a content management system (CMS) to build their blog. Site builders tend to be more intuitive and simplify the process of setting up a website.
This one, in particular, uses a drag-and-drop, so it’s as simple as swapping out the preset content from WestHost with your text and images. WestHost also includes over a hundred customizable and responsive themes — all of which look beautifully modern — so you don’t have to worry about your site looking the same as others.
Customers not only receive access to the site builder tool, but they also get web hosting, email hosting, and a domain. While there are different packages to choose from which give you the ability to create larger sites and monetize them, you’ll want to pay close attention before signing up as not all of the plans are blog-friendly.
It’s also worth noting that WestHost has an e-commerce site builder option, too. This is obviously more expensive, but it allows you to build a blog and store all at once.
Other Web Hosting Plans You Might Want to Consider
Of course, WestHost does offer just your basic shared web hosting. There are a few different plans to choose from, the more expensive ones allowing you to scale your site if you need more space, power, or web properties.
The main reason why we don’t initially suggest WestHost’s shared hosting is because it requires you to purchase both a domain name and SSL certificate — both of which you’ll need for your site. It also requires more upfront work as you’ll have to install WordPress or purchase a separate site builder to build your site. The two types of hosting mentioned above take that extra work out of the equation.
WestHost also offers “Pro” hosting options like SSD VPS, Dedicated Servers, and Managed Services. These types of hosting are expensive and require some technical know-how, but usually come with the tradeoff of easier scalability, high speeds, greater customization, and more control.
And, of course, WestHost offers these add-ons. If the main hosting plan you choose above doesn’t cover these “musts” then know that you can secure them from WestHost at an additional cost:
- Domain registration
- Email hosting
- Sitelock malware protection
- Cloudflare CDN
- SEO Guru
How Reliable Is WestHost Hosting?
Once you’ve determined that WestHost has the right web hosting plan for you, there’s one more question to consider, and that’s this: how reliable will it be? For many hosting companies, you’ll usually find this answer comes in three forms.
WestHost provides details on its own datacenter facility, located just a half-hour from the company headquarters located in Utah. This data center is truly impressive. It’s located in a FEMA-qualified disaster-safe zone. It’s also been labeled as a Tier 3 datacenter, which is on par with those you’d find powering major financial institutions. WestHost also provides full care and monitoring for the hardware within that facility. Hardware that is:
- Redundant and failover-ready
- SAS 70 compliant
- Monitored 24/7
This datacenter is responsible for powering WestHost’s Pro Services sites. The ones on shared and WordPress hosting plans are likely stored within WestHost’s global network of data center partners. With a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee, however, customers should have no worries about the quality of hosting, even if it’s outsourced.
WestHost also happens to excel in providing customer support.
There are a variety of means by which customers can reach out: phone, live chat, email, and contact forms all offer a direct line of communication and are available 24/7.
WestHost also has self-support options available, including a support page where you can choose the team you want to contact and submit a ticket, a help center with the most popular product information and questions related to them, and a knowledgebase. This knowledgebase is where WestHost’s support truly shines as it includes setup help, video tutorials, as well as basic answers to questions about everything related to hosting, billing, and apps.
Finally, there are the guarantees to consider. We’ve already mentioned the 99.9 percent uptime guarantee, which is fairly standard for web hosting. However, WestHost has a 30-day money-back guarantee as well as a 100% lifetime satisfaction promise for customers, which seems pretty telling in terms of how confident the company is in its services.
Deciding Whether WestHost Is for You
As a blogger, you’re not looking for some high-powered e-commerce solution (at least not at first). What you need is a simple and reliable web hosting platform to keep your blog running smoothly and give you more time to focus on writing for your blog; not maintaining things on the backend — and WestHost can definitely give you that.