They claim to offer reliable web hosting that is affordable. We carefully investigated them by using their service and doing a background check to find out what other users think. Our unbiased review lets you know whether WestHost is worth it or not.
In order to make our review accurate, we bought WestHost’s “Personal Plan” and set up a basic WordPress website to test their uptime and speed.
Did WestHost perform well enough to get our recommendation?
Read on to find out.
General Info & Hosting Overview
Our Verdict: 4.0
|SPEED:||737 ms (April 2020 to March 2021)|
|UPTIME:||99.94% (April 2020 to March 2021)|
|SUPPORT:||24/7 Live Chat|
|APPS:||WordPress, AbanteCart, Joomla, PrestaShop, Drupal, and more.|
|FEATURES:||Unlimited email accounts, 50 GB disk space & 1000 GB bandwidth, Full DNS Management, One MySQL Database, FTP and SSH Access, 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee, and more.|
|HOSTING PLANS:||Shared, WordPress, VPS, and Dedicated Servers|
|SITE TRANSFER:||Not Available (Only manual, do-it-yourself option available)|
|PRICING:||Starting at $1.00/mo (renews at $8.00/mo, annual term)|
Pros of Using WestHost Hosting
WestHost has quite many perks going on for them.
Let’s take a closer look.
1. A free Domain Name
You heard it right. If you stick with WestHost you’ll get a free domain name for the 1st year.
However, this perk comes only with Preferred and Business level plans. For the cheapest shared plan, you’d have to pay an extra fee depending on the domain. For example, the .com domain would cost you $0.99 for the 1st year and renew later to $14.99/year.
2. Solid Uptime 99.94%
Over the past 12 months, WestHost had an average uptime of 99.94% with a bit over five hours of downtime.
Overall WestHost has shown great uptime results nearly all year. There were only two poor months (June 2020 and February 2021), where the uptime was below industry-standard 99.93%.
Last 12-month average uptime:
- March 2021: 99.99%
- February 2021: 99.68%
- January 2021: 99.99%
- December 2020: 100%
- November 2020: 100%
- October 2020: 100%
- September 2020: 100%
- August 2020: 100%
- July 2020: 99.98%
- June 2020: 99.62%
- May 2020: 100%
- April 2020: 99.97%
3. Good Page Load Time
Fast page speed is definitely something you should look for while choosing a host.
We’ve set a speed benchmark of 850 ms – everything above this mark is not satisfactory and everything below is thumbs up from us.
Our test revealed WestHost’s average page load time to be 737 ms over the past 12 months, which is not the best we’ve seen but still good enough to earn a place in our pros section.
The good news is also that WestHost has been showing improved loading times throughout the whole year.
4. 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
WestHost offers a full refund backed by their 30-days money-back policy. If for any reason you decide that their service is not for you within 30 days of registration, they will refund you in full.
This, however, only applies to their shared hosting plans.
5. Instant Activation
Unlike most web hosts, you don’t have to wait for hours or days for your account to be activated. With WestHost, your account will be activated instantly.
6. Enhanced Security with Nightly Backups
With regular nightly backups for most of their web hosting plans, support for Cloudflare CDN, and Automatic Malware Removal for their plans, WestHost seems to be a very secure host.
7. Responsive Customer Support
WestHost offers ticketing support, a knowledge base, and 24/7 live chat. We tested out the latter.
We asked a simple question about their shared hosting plans and were connected to the customer rep within a few minutes.
The customer support rep was helpful and professional and gave quick replies to our questions.
Cons of Using WestHost Hosting
Unfortunately, WestHost had also some drawbacks.
Let’s see these in detail.
1. Not “Truly” Unlimited
While some WestHost shared hosting plans promise unlimited files, bandwidth, and databases, it is important to note that their fine print says otherwise. Here’s what we found from their Terms and Conditions page:
- Their unlimited shared hosting is designed to meet the needs of most small businesses and personal websites; it is not designed to meet the needs of large businesses or client services that fall outside the average usage pattern for shared hosting and may be better suited for hosting plans that provide expanded features.
- Accounts with a large number of files (inode counts in excess of 200,000), databases exceeding 5 GB in size, or a cumulative size of all databases in excess of 10 GB can have a significant impact on server performance.
- They reserve the right to request that the number of inodes (files and directories) and/or database sizes be reduced to help ensure server performance. Failure to comply with these requests may result in the termination of your account.
Essentially, even though they promised unlimited hosting, your account should generally not have databases that exceed a cumulative 10 GB. If they deem your files too many and your databases too big, they can request that you reduce your files or upgrade to a better plan. Failure to do this can lead to your account being terminated.
We’re not happy that they hid what their “unlimited” hosting really allows on their Terms and Conditions page.
With that said, we believe that there’s nothing called “unlimited hosting” and that WestHost is generous enough for the prices they offer.
2. Cheaper Plans Come with a 3-Year Commitment
With most of their plans, especially their shared hosting plans, the prices are too expensive and are not properly communicated: for example, the Personal plan is advertised as $1.00 monthly but you can only get that price if you choose the annual plan ( $1.99/month if you choose the 36-month plan).
The actual price is $8 per month, and the minimum term you can pay for is 3 months at $9.00/mo.
3. Some Restrictions…
Some of their plans are too restrictive. For example, their WordPress hosting plans only allow one domain name and MySQL Database per server.
Moreover, the Softaculous App Installer is not included in any of WestHost’s shared hosting plans (the plans, however, are already WordPress and Drupal ready).
The SSL Certificate is also something that you’d have to purchase separately (it’s included for free only in the Business Hosting Plan).
The same goes for SSH access – it’s included in the higher tier plans only.
4. Intro Pricing Period Too Short
All web hosts will reel you in with an incredibly low starting price. It often looks too good to be true because it is: after your first term, the price jumps back up to normal levels (often two or three times the initial rate).
The silver lining is that most hosts will allow you to lock in that low rate for up to three years. So you’re saving a ton of money over that time period.
The problem with WestHost is that while they do have a really affordable rate initially ($1.00/mo), you can only purchase it for a single year. After that, the price then jumps to $8/mo.
That’s not the only issue, though.
WestHost’s cheapest shared hosting option (as already mentioned above) does not offer a free domain name, dedicated IP address, or SSL certificate. Only their more expensive plans include those things. So all of a sudden, what looked pretty affordable at $1.00/mo now ends up looking really expensive when you factor in all of these ‘hidden’ costs.
5. Site Migrations are Not Offered
Last but not least, WestHost does not offer site migrations from their end (both free and paid are not included).
What does that mean to you?
If you already have an existing website and you wish to transfer it to WestHost then you’ll have to do it manually yourself. Of course, if you’re tech-savvy and site migrations are not your first rodeo, then it’s probably nothing really complicated for you. However, if you’re a noob in the hosting world, it might be tricky and time-consuming.
On a positive note, WestHost’s support team is available for help in that matter.
WestHost Pricing, Hosting Plans & Quick Facts
Here’s a quick overview of the various hosting plans offered by WestHost:
|Personal Hosting Plan||Preferred Hosting Plan||Business Hosting Plan|
Renews at $8.00/mo
Renews at $13.00/mo
Renews at $16.00/mo
|Email Accounts||Unlimited 10 GB Emails||Unlimited 10 GB Emails||Unlimited 10 GB Emails|
|Other Features||–||• Free Domain||• Free Domain
• Free SSL Security
• Free Dedicated IP
- Free Domain: Only with Business + Preferred Plans
- Ease of Signup: Quick signup process.
- Money-Back: 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Payment Methods: Credit Card, Paypal.
- Hidden Fees and Clauses: Shared hosting accounts must not exceed 200,000 inodes or 10GB total database size. Quite many features (SSL Certificate, domain name) would have to be purchased for an extra cost.
- Upsells: No upsells.
- Account Activation: Instant Activation.
- Control Panel and Dashboard Experience: cPanel.
- Installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): The plans come WordPress and Drupal ready.
Do We Recommend WestHost?
Yes and no.
In general, WestHost is not a bad hosting company.
However, they have an average uptime, average page loading speeds, and also average support.
If you like their initial cheap pricing, you should give them a shot. Otherwise, keep looking for better options.
Very Good Uptime | Easy to Use for Beginners | 24/7 Customer Support
Read Bluehost review
Extremely Affordable | Top 3 Load Time | Multilingual Support
Read Hostinger review
Best Month-to-Month Plan | 97-Day Refund Period | Unlimited Bandwidth
Read DreamHost review
Further reading: The 10 Best Web Hosting Services (In 2021)
If you’ve used WestHost, please leave a review below. Good or bad – doesn’t really matter as we’re trying to keep our reviews transparent and honest.