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Brad Smith

Hosting Reviewer

HostNine is one of the youngest faces in web hosting, originally founded in 2006.

Initially showing promise, they were scooped up in 2012 by EIG, which also owns some of the biggest hosting brands like Bluehost.

HostNine hosting Review

All hosts like to stretch the truth a bit when it comes to promotional claims on their website.

They put catchy soundbites on their website, regardless of the facts, attempting to coast by on the reputation alone.

We purchased HostNine’s ‘Personal Plan’ and set up a WordPress site to monitor and run tests over an extended period of time. We’ve compiled the most important data, including uptime and speed, and are ready to make a ruling in this unbiased review backed by facts and statistics.

Read on to find out if HostNine is a suitable hosting provider for you.

General Info & Hosting Overview


Our Rating:

Our Verdict: 3.0

SPEED: 1470 ms (August 2020 to July 2021)
UPTIME: 99.97% (August 2020 to July 2021)
SUPPORT24/7 Live Chat, Knowledge Base, Ticketing
APPS:WordPress, Joomla, Weebly, Drupal, phpBB, etc.
FEATURES:Unlimited Bandwidth, Storage, Control Panel, Softaculous Installer, Unlimited Email Accounts, Site Builder, and more.
HOSTING PLANS:Shared, Reseller, VPS, Cloud, Dedicated Hosting.
SITE TRANSFERFree
PRICING:Starting at $8.46/month (with an annual plan)

Pros of Using HostNine Hosting


HostNine delivered the goods in a few different areas, including a refreshingly modern, easy-to-use website, free site migrations, a nice money-back guarantee, and an amazing uptime.

Let’s take a closer look at the perks.

1. Good Uptime – 99.97%

HostNine’s uptime in previous years hasn’t been exactly good. For example, during our last testing period, they delivered an average uptime of 99.87% with a whole day of downtime. So, we weren’t exactly sure what to expect from them in the future.

However, we were pleasantly surprised when we saw the results.

HostNine’s average uptime during the past year was 99.97%, with almost three hours of downtime. During our testing period, they delivered a below-average result only in March and April 2020, where the uptime was 99.91% and 99.89% respectively.

HostNine last 12-month uptime and speed statistics
HostNine average uptime | See stats

Last 12-month average uptime:

  • July 2021: 99.99%
  • June 2021: 99.93%
  • May 2021: 99.95%
  • April 2021: 99.89%
  • March 2021: 99.91%
  • February 2021: 99.97%
  • January 2021: 99.98%
  • December 2020: 100%
  • November 2020: 100%
  • October 2020: 100%
  • September 2020: 100%
  • August 2020: 100%

2. User-Friendly Registration and the Sign-up Process

Most of the major web hosts were started back in the 1990s or early 2000s. Their websites, for the most part, look like it.

Many are outdated, difficult to use, and simply unappealing. They’re tough to navigate and find simple information, which only becomes more problematic on mobile devices (which weren’t around when some of these websites were originally designed from the looks of it).

Thankfully, HostNine has a contemporary website with clear organization and attention to information hierarchy that makes your life simple.

Hopefully, that attention to detail and focus on the user’s point of view is a sign of things to come…

3. Ability to Choose from Different Datacenters

HostNine has data centers in six different locations, including the US, UK, Singapore, Canada, Australia, and Amsterdam. Even though it doesn’t seem much, especially compared to LiquidWeb hosting which has 20+ data centers around the world, it’s still better than having only one or two data centers to choose from.

However, it must be noted, that the cheapest shared hosting option can only be hosted in their US data center. You can choose your own location with their other premium plans.

4. Free Website Migrations

HostNine offers free website migrations for all of their new customers, as long as their previous host offers cPanel access.

No high, three-digit price to move your first site. And no per-site price if you have a lot of them, either.

That makes HostNine a great fit if you already have a suite of sites to manage.

5. No Renewal Price Hikes

HostNine also doesn’t double or triple the renewal price of your hosting plan. Whatever you pay on the first day is the same that you’ll pay on the last.

In comparison, other hosts will start their pricing at only a few dollars each month. Then, when it’s time for your plan to renew, it jumps closer to ten or twenty a month.

So you thankfully don’t have to worry about the same price hikes surprising you in a few year’s time.

6. 45-Day Money-Back Guarantee (And Prorated Credits)

HostNine offers a full 45-day refund. If any new customers are unhappy for any reason, you can get everything back, minus the cost for any “domain name, SSL certificate, WHMCS license, dedicated IP address, and processing fees” according to their Terms and Conditions.

HostNine’s 45-day timeline covers the full refund amount. However, if you want to ask for a refund one year into a three-year deal, they will offer to refund a prorated amount.

That’s a great deal considering many other hosts don’t extend this same luxury. So once your initial refund window closes, you can’t get back anything else that was prepaid (no matter how long).

Refunds will be made through the original payment method of credit, debit, or PayPal. Checks, money orders, and wire transfers are not eligible for a refund.

7. Good Support Experience

HostNine comes with 24/7 live chat, ticketing support, and also has a vast knowledge base to browse.

We tested out their live chat support, and we’re happy to announce that our experience with HostNine’s customer rep was good. Our questions were answered quickly and customer support was knowledgeable.

HostNine Support

HostNine also offers priority support with their premium plans, where your tickets will be handled first in the queue. However, this applies only to registered users.

8. Easy-to-Use Dashboard and Control Panel

HostNine’s client area is nothing overwhelming and is similar to many other hosts’ dashboards.

From there you can access your domains, billing information, check your active services, and update account info if needed.

Hostnine client area

HostNine uses cPanel as a control panel. To login to your cPanel, you have to ask customer support for a special link. This is a bit unusual because normally there is a login option already included in the client area.

We’re not sure why it is different with HostNine, though. According to their customer support, cPanel login is included in the client area only with reseller hosting plans.

HostNIne cPanel

Overall, cPanel is simple to navigate around and you should find all the necessary things needed for website hosting without any problems.

Cons of Using HostNine Hosting


Even though HostNine started out pretty strong, there are still some downsides that can’t be ignored (especially their speed).

Let’s have a more detailed look at each of the cons.

1. Slow Page Loading Time – 1470 ms

HostNine delivered very slow page loading times during the 12 months testing period, coming at an average of 1470 ms. Unfortunately, taking more than a second to load a website is a no-go in today’s internet world.

What’s even worse?

HostNine’s speed has been gradually increasing from month to month.

HostNine average speed data
HostNine average speed | See stats

Google itself aims for websites to load in under half a second, and if the site’s response time goes from one second to three seconds, the probability of bounce increases to 32%.

This will translate into decreased sales profit and also an overall negative user experience.

Definitely, something to look out for.

2. Limited Cheapest Plan

Even though HostNine comes with many unlimited features like storage, email accounts, and bandwidth, it lacks in many other important areas.

Let’s start with the domain name.

Many other hosts offer a free domain already with their cheapest hosting plan. However, to get a free domain from HostNine, you’ll need to sign up with their more expensive Business or Enterprise Plans. If you go with their cheapest plan, you’d have to buy a domain name for an extra fee. For example, the .com domain would cost you $15/year.

Moreover, HostNine’s cheapest Personal Plan also has a limited amount of data center locations to choose from. With their other two premium plans, you have the ability to choose from four to six data center locations worldwide, but the cheapest plan comes only with the US location possibility.

And last but not least, HostNine doesn’t offer free SSL Certificates and it would have to be purchased for an extra $39 (one-time buy). Free SSL is only included with their most expensive Enterprise Plan.

3. Expensive Pricing

HostNine might not increase your renewal costs, however, they only offer the cheapest rates if you sign up for the longest term. A single month will cost you $10.03, and it only comes down to $8.46/month if you sign up with their long-term plans.

HostNine billing cycle

Taking into consideration how limited the cheapest plan actually is, then you’re not getting much value from the price, especially compared to other cheapest hosts we’re reviewed.

HostNine Pricing, Hosting Plans & Quick Facts

HostNine offers shared, reseller, VPS, and dedicated hosting – no matter what level of service you need, you will find it with them. Below is a quick overview of their shared hosting plans:


Personal PlanBusiness PlanEnterprise Plan
Pricing$8.46/month$13.42/month$18.14/month
Websites1UnlimitedUnlimited
BandwidthUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
StorageUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
Email AccountsUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Other Features• One Data Center Location• Free Domain
• Four Data Center Locations
• Free Domain
• Free SSL and Dedicated IP
• Priority Support
• Six Data Center Locations

Quick Facts

  • Domain: Not free with their cheapest plan.
  • Ease of Signup: One-page signup. Very easy signup process.
  • Payment Methods: Credit Card, PayPal.
  • Money-Back: 45-day money-back guarantee with a prorated option.
  • Hidden Fees and Clauses: Money-Back Guarantee applies only for first-time accounts and add-ons are not refunded. A domain name is not free with the cheapest plan and SSL Security would have to be purchased for an extra fee.
  • Upsells: Very few upsells.
  • Account Activation: Very quick activation.
  • Control Panel and Dashboard Experience: cPanel.
  • Installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): Quick and easy installation of popular apps and CMSs via Softaculous.

Do We Recommend HostNine?

Yes and no.

Even though HostNine performs well in many categories like uptime, customer support and offers plenty of unlimited features, we just couldn’t ignore some downsides that are crucial for the overall performance.

HostNine’s response time is way too slow to be overlooked and unfortunately, they haven’t shown any improvement signs in that area yet.

Their cheapest plan is lacking in some must-have features (free domain name and SSL Certificate) that will cost you extra and will raise the initial, already expensive price even more.

Overall, HostNine is an average host and there are definitely some better hosts out there that will give you better value for a cheaper price.


Best alternatives for HostNine:

Further reading: The 10 Best Web Hosting Services (In 2021)


Do you have any experience with HostNine? Please leave a review below – good or bad – doesn’t really matter as long as it’s transparent and honest.

16 user reviews for HostNine

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    Jerry M

    1  — January 4, 2021

    False Advertising

    I have been a long time customer for more than 8 years. This page review describes my experience. But the company is getting worse. They have started forcing users to limit their account size to 30 GB disk-space while advertising as unlimited. And that wasn’t on their terms. After I told them that they updated their terms and told me those are new terms. I have 48 hrs to comply or else.

    Please don’t give them your business. Whatever they are advertising is false.

    Jon

    1  — June 17, 2018

    Not recommended

    Long time customer (previously Cirtex) a few wobbles with their downtime, but overall ‘OK’ for the low cost. However, they ceased my account / deleted all of my data as they had supposed to have reminded me about an unpaid invoice. I searched through all emails, nothing received. Though it was a fault for not remembering to renew, it caused a lot of inconveniences. When talking to support, their response was ‘bad luck’. No value to customer base, no option to recover, therefore not recommended, regardless of the low cost.

    Ken

    1  — February 7, 2018

    Run, don’t walk.

    I have a reseller account with Hostnine. Initially, they were great. 24/7 phone support, English speaking techs, fast. Then it all went to hell. I think it was when EIG bought them… they already destroyed Hostgator’s reputation… now their killing Hostnine’s too. Now I get no good support at all. Sites are having troubles. Hostnine has moved sites to a new IP with no notice; breaking the site and email. This is NOT BUSINESS CLASS HOSTING. If you have a little personal website, go for it. For a business website, run.

    Diego

    2  — October 31, 2017

    #HostnineDebacle2017

    Steady decline this year warrants the hashtag #HostnineDebacle2017 – I’ve been there since 2006. If you have a site that warrants any sort of credibility to keep a client relationship do not depend on HostNine, especially not a shared server environment there. They’re best used for sites that can be left on autopilot or lower budget work. You get what you pay for on the cheap side, but definitely not the high side. Not sure anyone is really in charge anymore is the main issue. Lacking structure and hierarchy in recent months.

    Brandon

    1  — October 25, 2017

    Server down for over 24hr – losing thousands in revenue

    I’ve been a customer for 8 years. My server has been taken down for a “root compromise” and no one has been responding to assist in getting the server back online, or helping me retrieve my files so I can migrate to a new server.

    Since they were acquired in 2012, the company has gone downhill. Customer service has degraded each and every year. Yes, there is live chat, but it is apparently outsourced to operators in Asia who have no ability to get anything done. Support is ticket based and responses take more than 24hr.

    DO NOT HOST WITH HOSTNINE

    H

    1  — August 18, 2017

    Reseller account still sending me update mail after 5 months after cancellation

    Cancelled a Resellers II hosting account, that we had for several years…

    Pricing, uptime and support were the reasons’ for cancellation 5 months later still receiving softaculous updates for domains that we don’t even own anymore, plus cron backup jobs that we don’t care about anymore.

    Account was supposed to have been disconintured/deleted in March of 2017. Had I know that I can’t open a ticket, or get to support at all other than through Live chat I would have deleted all the accounts myself, because relying on someone else to do the job is utter hell.

    Contacted support through Live chat 5 times already… First time, it took 27 mins to verify that we had an account subsequent times pretty much the same thing. Each time, we were told the issue was resolved, and each day we received the same update mail.

    One CSR through chat actually opened up a ticket and escalated it to “senior admins”….

    Do yourself a favour, stay away from Hostnine, there’s better alternatives for way cheaper money

    Danny P

    1  — July 26, 2017

    Shocking Service, rip of merchants

    I have a reseller package with them and all started off great. However I believe due to a takeover, things suddenly went downhill. Lots of downtime, poor ticket response and emails being spammed. We decided to cancel and move to another host.

    Unfortunately they would not refund the balance in our account, so we decided to cut our losses and move on.

    Approx one year on, they have attempted to take another payment. I contacted them immediately and was reassured that this was a mistake and no funds would be taken. A week later, the funds are lifted from my Paypal account. I contacted them to tell them of their mistake and was told to open a ticket. 3 weeks later, and several support chats, they are still refusing to refund me. So I have $642.80 tied up with them, which I cannot get back. Plus they won’t give me an invoice for the services because I “don’t have any active services”.

    These guys are an absolute joke, and if you want to keep your sanity, avoid at all costs!

    Ian S

    1  — July 22, 2017

    Pathetic Service Support and uptime

    Hostnine was a good service when it was Hostv but since they have taken over it has been a nightmare and they dont even refund I am stuck with them since I have paid them in full for a year for a VPS and evey 7 to 15 days it goes down and their cheap and pathetic Indian support people dont care a bit about customer services since I am stuck with them please view the sites on this VPS and you will be able to see how frequent it goes down and buyer please dont consider hostnine as an option not even your last resort.

    Thanks

    Robert

    1  — December 17, 2016

    Terrible support

    I have been a Hostnine customer for many years and before they were really a gem in the hosting world. Decent uptime, pretty quick servers and a FANTASTIC support. Then something happened and it went really downhill.

    They changed servers on multiple data centers and at the same time thay seemed to have closed down the support completely. Sites could be down for weeks and months with the support not even replying to support mails and I was pretty sure they were going out of business. So I moved all of my clients from H9 but kept a few number of smaller developing sites.

    They have changed the support system from tickets to chat and it has become somewhat better but basically it is not acceptable. There are far, far better choices out there. So avoid H9 if you need a reliable support solution. At least for the moment (dec 2016).

    Thanks

    Robert

    Ryan

    1  — November 19, 2016

    A Cautionary Tale

    I started service with HostNine in 2009 with two domain names and a basic shared hosting package. I had no complaints whatsoever for seven years; it didn’t cost much, and it did what I needed it to do.

    On September 6, 2016, I paid to renew my primary domain name (Domain A). Several weeks later, I discovered HostNine had let the domain expire anyway. I decided this was unacceptable, so I did some research and decided to move to A2 Hosting on October 14.

    I initiated transfers for both domains. Domain B failed immediately because the transfer lock status was still in place despite my request to remove it. Domain A failed a week later because I never received the verification email. I discovered that when they belatedly renewed the domain, HostNine had replaced my contact information with their own and the email had gone to their sales department, where it was ignored.

    This began a month-long fight to revert the changes to the contact information, including a long-ignored support ticket, dozens of encounters with live chat, a WhoIs Inaccuracy Complaint with ICANN, and an attempt to contact the accredited registrar through which HostNine acquires the domains it sells. Roughly every tool on the online dashboard was broken – changing contact info or nameservers produced an error – and the chat reps were flummoxed.

    Support took at least a week to update each ticket. In the case of that domain renewal failure ticket, I didn’t get a reply for a month. Chat vowed to escalate a ticket, then didn’t; I got an auto-resolve notice two days later. Some updates would claim the problem was fixed when it wasn’t. Others would suggest taking actions that had already failed in previous worklog entries. When I canceled all my services in mid-October, I received an email a week after their expiration date chiding me for not paying and threatening me with late fees.

    All told, the act of renewing a domain name, then transferring two domains to a new host, took two and a half months – this wasn’t resolved until November 19. This process took so long that my website no longer exists (except in local backups, of course).

    In summary, under no circumstances should you do business with HostNine. Do not give them any money. No matter how good of a deal it may seem, it isn’t worth subjecting yourself to a Stygian maelstrom of bureaucracy, delays, and general incompetence. Avoid at all costs.

    David P

    1  — November 6, 2016

    Support is dead

    I’ve been with Hostnine since 2007 and they used to be superb but in the last 1-2 years they have gone down the tubes.

    Their Livechat support respond quickly but the last ticket I raised has been open for two and a half months with one meaningless response and one halfway useful one.

    Blacklisted mail servers which take weeks to clear, complete non-response on trying to move a domain and hosting service from one account to another, etc.

    At least my hosting sites haven’t died (I have 8 separate sites) but I’ve heard horror stories about that happening to others as well!

    Steff

    1  — October 30, 2016

    Requested refund after just 4 days!

    Took out a VPS plan and paid immediately for it. Four days later and several attempts to get things moving, all I have was an account set up. No server, no emails, no Cpanel… nothing at all. 16 hours after an urgent request was sent by ticket and not a thing.

    When I went to cancel I was pointed to the terms and conditions as at cancellation I was told I would not get a refund. Upon investigating their terms and conditions it turns out that I am entitled to a full refund… the battle begins!

    Meliza

    1  — June 28, 2016

    BUYER BEWARE!!

    They lure you in with their “special” rate that you get only if you pay for the entire year. BUT, when you realize their service is TERRIBLE, and they DON’T RESPOND to your service tickets, you will want to leave. The trick is THEY WILL NOT GIVE YOU YOUR MONEY BACK beyond the 45 day mark. So, they keep the entire rest of the year’s payment hostage as “credit” for when you come back, which is NEVER.

    I was with them for just over 2 months, and they kept 9 months of fees. What a SCAM!!

    Jac G

    2  — June 7, 2016

    H9 have gone downhill

    Been with H9 since nearly there inception, almost 10 years! as a Reseller. I came from Hostgator. Hostgator’s server blew up and all 45 of my accounts that were on that server took 4 days to get back up, that’s why I left Hostgator.

    For years H9 was fine, even great BECAUSE of their support, it was fast and effective, phone, e-mail and chat, when you called you got it fixed, so that is why I stayed.

    But the biggest PRO and no one else offers it, is the ability to spread your accounts over different datacenters and IP’s. As reseller it is just too much risk to have all your accounts on one server, because it does not matter what hosting company, a server can crash big time and then you have ALL your accounts offline and sometimes its catastrophic. I never want to live through what happened with Hostgator.

    So I am now really struggling with H9 and their crappy support. It does indeed take days to get responses and forget the blacklist issue. Their servers are often blacklisted so clients e-mails are always bouncing and it takes days if not weeks for H9 to delist them.

    I just can not see how I can have a reseller account else where if I am stuck with one IP..

    In conclusion I do NOT recommend H9, there support and service is not good, and the uptime is below standard.

    Paul

    1  — May 26, 2016

    Support didn’t answer

    I used to run an adult video site on HostNine. Initially, I didn’t know that they don’t accept/tolerate that kind of content. Eventually my site was offline and they didn’t answer my calls any more. My account was SUSPENDED.

    Jimmy

    2  — April 2, 2016

    Declining…

    I’ve used HostNine for 5+ years and I’d say that they started to downhill once they merged with EIG.

    I guess they just started to over sell their products and web hosting services which resulted a lot of downtime, migrations & errors.

    I’m not using HostNine anymore. I might re-sign with them in the future, but not before they’ve fixed their uptime problem.