Hostwinds Hosting Review

Searching for reliable and affordable hosting, you may come across Hostwinds, a strong player in the market since 2010. Together with far-famed leaders, this brand is sure to hit your search list, thanks to its complete coverage of hosting models, solid uptime, reasonable prices, and decent support.

Hostwinds is based in Seattle and has data centers across the US and Amsterdam. It offers numerous solutions for shared, cloud, VPS, and dedicated server hosting, as well as a diverse system of plans. That’s why it may interest the broadest audience from North America and Europe.

Is Hostwinds the very hosting you need? This review will let you go over the key possibilities of the host so that you either settle on the service or continue your search.

Hostwinds Pros & Cons

servers owned exclusively by Hostwinds;
unlimited everything across all plans;
plenty of hosting solutions;
excellent customer support;
affordable prices.

a refund is available only within 72 hours after the payment.

Hostwinds Ease of Use

Hostwinds Main

Hostwinds offers straightforward procedures for accommodating a website in a server, migrating, and maintaining your account. One of its essential features is the advanced cPanel with the Softaculous outfit. Thanks to it, a user with any knowledge level can manage their hosted websites.

The site supports 11 languages, and the getting started process is quite common for modern hosts. On the Hostwinds official website, you click the Get Started icon, and the system will suggest choosing a shared hosting plan.

When you are ready with your plan, press the corresponding Get Started banner and create a new personal account. If you are aimed at another hosting type, you can pick a suitable plan in the respective section from the main menu in the website’s upper corner. You need to press Order to proceed with the registration on Hostwinds.

Web Hosting cPanel

As soon as your account is created, you are redirected to the Hostwinds cPanel, through which you can install WordPress, Joomla, or a similar service, maintain domains, databases, and email accounts, and control everything.

Hostwinds Features

Hostwinds Features

Among the companies that cover all types of hosting, Hostwinds looks decent enough. It offers a variety of solutions for shared web hosting, as well as for hosting on VPS, cloud, and dedicated servers. The platform won’t impress you with excessive or unique features.

Yet, each Hostwinds plan has enough to provide you with secure and reliable hosting. No matter which one you select, you can expect the following features to be included in your package:

  • Nightly backups;
  • Cloudflare CDN;
  • free website transfers;
  • website monitoring 24/7;
  • managed support 24/7.

Now, it’s time to observe each hosting type separately. Here are the main possibilities and features you can get depending on your choice of hosting.

Web Hosting

The Hostwinds web hosting services include packages for Shared hosting, Business hosting, Reseller hosting, and White Label. Shared hosting is the cheapest solution, and it’ll suit you if your website does not consume much traffic and possible slowdowns in crush hours are not fatal for your project.

The Hostwinds business hosting plans represent the same shared hosting, but you can expect more powerful servers with extended capacities here. The Reseller plans are designed for those who plan to become hosting providers themselves but do not want to deal with their hardware. Finally, there’s a White label option that will be useful for those who wish to sell Hostwinds products under their own brands.

All web hosting plans are Linux-based only. Each plan includes the following set of features:

  • free SSL certificates;
  • unlimited disk space & bandwidth;
  • unlimited subdomains;
  • unlimited databases;
  • unlimited FTP accounts;
  • unlimited email accounts;
  • Softaculous auto-installations;
  • 24/7 support.

When you choose one of the shared or business plans, your built-in options will also include a free dedicated IP and access to the Weebly website builder. The main difference between these plans is in the number of available domains, with options of one, four, or an unlimited number of them.

VPS Hosting

More capacities and more speed are what head-taller VPS hosting can ensure for your website. Hostwinds offers managed and unmanaged solutions for Windows- and Linux-based VPS hosting. No matter which solution you prefer, there will be a choice of 10 plans, varying from a set of 1 CPU, 1 Gb RAM, 30 Gb storage, and 1TB bandwidth to the limit of 16 CPU, 96 Gb RAM, 750 Gb storage, and 9TB bandwidth.

Cloud Hosting

Cloud Server Features

Instead of using a physical server or a certain room on it, cloud hosting allows websites to use cloud resources ensured by server clusters. This hosting method can expand your possibilities by offering extended storage, CPU, and other resources.

A crucial advantage of this hosting type is that your website won’t be dependent on one physical server’s capacities and possible overloads. If the latter happens, your site will be switched to another’s server from the cloud cluster.

There are 10 cloud hosting plans at Hostwinds, each billed by the hour. The cheapest package contains 1 CPU, 1 GB of RAM, 30 GB of storage, and 1 TB of bandwidth. The most advanced set here will include 16 CPUs, 96 Gb RAM, 750 Gb storage, and 9TB bandwidth.

Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated Features

You can ensure the best performance available for your website by opting for dedicated hosting. Here, your website will be hosted on your private dedicated server. Hostwinds offers a flexible system of solutions. You are free to define the following criteria:

  • 14 types of servers;
  • Server drives (SSD or HDD, up to 4 bays);
  • RAM (8-128 Gb);
  • RAID (0-60);
  • OS (CentOS, Windows, Debian, Ubuntu, and Fedora);
  • a number of IP addresses (8-128).

A nice option from Hostwinds is that you can use a kind of dedicated hosting calculator for customizing your plan on the official site. You can choose suitable parameters for your website and check the final price.

As long as you purchased a dedicated server from Hostwinds, you are the only owner of it, no matter how complex it is. You’ll get full access to its 1 Gbps network links as well. Common features like server monitoring 24/7, nightly backups, and comprehensive support will also be on the list of your Hostwinds dedicated hosting options.

Hostwinds for WordPress

There are no separate packages for WordPress hosting at Hostwinds. Yet, any web hosting plan there goes with the Softaculous installer, which will let you easily install WordPress and tune up your website just the way you want. The same can be said about other popular CMS like Joomla, Magento, etc.

Site Building

Are you searching for a host that will let you build a website, among other options? Hostwinds is one. It offers the Weebly site builder within its web hosting plans. Weebly is one of the top-popular site constructors, now available as part of the Square services.

Weebly main

A sure advantage of Weebly is that it has a free plan. However, the site builder will suit you if your goal is a simple website with no need for complex features. Be aware that the Weebly free plan is extremely limited and contains Weebly tags.

Weebly also offers premium plans and allows building an online store, but you would scarcely need a Hostwinds shared hosting plan if you opt for one of these Weebly solutions. The reason is that they all include free hosting.

One more solution is to create a WordPress website based on Hostwinds hosting. In this case, you’ll be free to build the very website you need with whatever complexity of design and functionality.

Finally, Hostwinds has all the necessary instruments for building a website from scratch and launching it with the help of any Hostwinds hosting solution. FTP, MySQL, SSH, phpMyAdmin, a file manager, and other options will be at your disposal.

eCommerce & Other Apps

Hostwinds also offers web application hosting solutions designed specifically for various apps, including online stores. You can use Hostwinds’ eCommerce plans to create a website selling goods online.

Again, the integration with Softaculous will help you connect any plugin or add-on to your website. Via the installer software, you can power up your project with such eCommerce plugins as WooCommerce, PrestaShop, the Magento app for online stores, etc. Installations won’t require an extra cost from you.

Besides WordPress and eCommerce plugins, Hostwinds proposes hosting solutions for the following applications:

  • vBulletin for creating and managing community forums and discussion boards;
  • Prosper202 to analyze your advertising and marketing campaigns;
  • CPVLab for optimizing your eCommerce campaigns;
  • Minecraft hosting.

You can choose from 10 hosting variants for your Minecraft website. Hostwinds offers three plans for all the other apps. Their common advantages include proper loading speed, one-button control, no need for installation, good scalability, and high-class support.

For justice’s sake, we should mention that a number of more convenient hosting providers will let you manage any eCommerce add-ons with a couple of clicks and give you a much bigger number of pro features. Hostwinds is not the best in this respect. Yet, finding a workable solution is possible.

Hostwinds Performance

In a nutshell, Hostwinds is just a good hosting service in terms of uptime and loading rate. A big plus of the company is that it employs only its own equipment. That is, Hostwinds doesn’t use any third-party data centers or other hardware.

On the other hand, Hostwinds has data centers in Seattle, Dallas, and Amsterdam. And that’s all! It may affect the loading speed of your website. If your target audience is located far from these spots, be ready for pretty average performance.

That said, Hostwinds ranks among the top-fast hosts available at present. While most companies offer a standard result of 99.9% uptime, Hostwinds shared hosting websites can provide uptime of 99.95%-99.98%.

A 14-day test we took on a shared hosting website (the cheapest plan) with no complex integrations showed no downtimes. The reports from and GTmetrix proved an above-average level of Hostwinds performance.

The peak loading rates are impressive: our site loaded in less than 0.8s. However, the lowest speed was 2.6s, which was fairly disappointing. International loading speed metrics taken from Sucuri gave the range of 0.690s-3.633s. So, if you have a website with similar parameters and on the same shared hosting plan, you can expect your website to load in 1.7s on average – on conditions that your audience is somewhere in North America or Europe.

Hostwinds Security

When it comes to security, the first thing to mention is that Hostwinds possesses its own data centers with a solid level of physical protection. This is especially true for data centers located in the USA.

The measures taken include 24/7/365 armed security, video surveillance, and a staffed network operations center working around the clock. You may have heard thousands of promises concerning security from other hosting companies. Yet, in the case of Hostwinds, you can rely on the host in this respect.

What security means will your website get? First of all, Hostwinds include free SSL certificates in all plans, no matter which hosting type is on your mind. These are indispensable means of encrypting data, so no website can protect itself and its users’ data without proper SSL security.

Besides an Auto SSL certificate available for free, Hostwinds offers premium SSL certificates for an extra cost. These are RapidSSL and WildSSL certificates provided through GeoTrust.

Hostwinds does not support automatic malware scans if 24/7 monitoring isn’t included in your plan. Yet, you can send a request if you experience any suspicious activities on your website. The team will check its vulnerability for free.

When you want such scanning to run automatically, you can subscribe to the Hostwinds monitoring service for an extra cost. Finally, the company offers nightly backups, which is also essential for your website’s protection.

Hostwinds Support

Quality support is one of the strongest points of Hostwinds. Customers can contact the team via various means:

  • Live Chat;
  • support tickets;
  • email;
  • phone number: (888)404-1279.

So, you can speak directly to human managers prone to explaining anything and solving any problems. Our experience with Hostwinds support was excellent. We didn’t have to wait more than a couple of minutes to get an email response. Let alone the chat: here, the Hostwinds assistants are lightning-fast to respond.

The company’s official website contains the Tutorials and Blog sections. Frankly, there was not much useful info for us in these areas. Yet, you can check the Product Documentation folder to inform yourself about the Hostwinds products.

Hostwinds Pricing

Hostwinds offers affordable hosting, no matter how complex your hosting solution should be. The company’s big plus is that it has various plans designed to suit any budget. You can enjoy excellent customizability when opting for VPS, cloud, or dedicated server hosting. In fact, you can build your plan just the way you wish.

Like many other hosting firms, Hostwinds conducts a policy of introductory prices. That is, you can subscribe to a certain plan for a lower price, valid for your first subscription period. Then, you’ll have to pay a regular price, which is sure to be a bit higher.

When you are aimed at getting reliable shared hosting at a reasonable price, Hostwinds is the exact provider you need. Its shared hosting plans are as follows:

Shared hosting plans
introductory price
renewal price
1 domain
4 domains
unlimited domains

The number of available domains is what distinguishes the shared hosting plans from each other. They all include unlimited databases, storage and bandwidth, access to Weebly, a free IP address, and more.

If you need a more powerful solution for your business, you can opt for one of the business plans:

Business hosting plans
introductory price
renewal price
1 domain
4 domains
unlimited domains

You’ll get the same set of features as on the shared hosting plans here. Their advantage over the parallel shared hosting packages is that they offer better performance for your project. Again, the Business hosting plans differ only in the number of supported domains.

Hostwinds Verdict

Hostwinds is a good hosting company taking the highest positions in the middle of most ratings. It offers competitive prices, and its plans include plenty of unlimited options. Hostwinds ensures fairly decent uptime and just enough security measures to protect its clients’ websites.

There are stronger players in the hosting industry with much more features and cheaper solutions on offer. Yet, if you have a small business and need fast hosting with unlimited storage/bandwidth, as well as optimal support, Hostwinds is the right option for you.

Howard Steele
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