WestHost was founded in 1998 by Chis Russell, they merged with UK2 Group in 2008. WestHost is one of the oldest web hosts out there. It’s also worth mentioning that UK2 Group also owns MidPhase hosting.
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:||766 ms (February 2020 to January 2021)|
|UPTIME:||99.96% (February 2020 to January 2021)|
|SUPPORT:||24/7 Live Chat|
|APPS:||WordPress, AbanteCart, Joomla, PrestaShop|
|FEATURES:||Unlimited email accounts, 50GB disk space & 1000GB bandwidth|
|HOSTING PLANS:||Shared, WordPress, VPS, and Dedicated Servers|
|SITE TRANSFER:||Free website migration|
|PRICING:||Starting at $1.99/mo (renews at $4.99/mo)|
Pros of Using WestHost Hosting
WestHost offers a free domain name for life, along with a few other helpful ‘extras’.
1. A free Domain Name for Life
You heard it right. If you stick with WestHost, they’ll not charge you for domain name renewal (which is usually around $10 to $15 /year). They’ll ensure you enjoy a free domain name for as long as you host with them. (Free domain comes with only Preferred and Business level plans).
2. Solid Uptime 99.96%
Over the past 12 months, WestHost had an average uptime of 99.96% with a bit over three hours of downtime.
Overall WestHost has shown great uptime results nearly all year. There were only four months in total when the uptime wasn’t a perfect 100%.
Last 12-month average uptime:
- 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%
- March 2020: 100%
- February 2020: 100%
3. Good Page Load Time
Our test revealed their average page load time to be 766 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. Free Migration and 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
WestHost will help you transfer your files and website from your current web host to their server. They also offer 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 only applies to their shared hosting plans.
5. Instant Activation
Unlike most web hosts (especially inMotion hosting & Web Hosting Hub), 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. One-Click Apps and Website Builder
WestHost offers a one-click installation for many of the top apps on the Internet through Softaculous. That includes everything from WordPress to Joomla, Drupal, and Magento.
However, while those apps are tailor-made for savvy webmasters, novice bloggers might need a little more help.
Fortunately, WestHost also offers a DIY website builder and online store options, too.
The website builder includes over 165 drag-and-drop themes, plus an all-in-one plan that includes a domain name, hosting, and email addresses. Basically, everything you need to start your first site under one roof.
And at only a $3.71/mo starting introductory price point, it’s still an affordable, convenient option so you don’t have to set up or connect all of these things manually.
8. Relatively Transparent Pricing List
Web hosts are notorious for burying costs in the places you least expect them.
You usually have to pour over their terms of service to find the biggest ones. And even then, there is often a ton of upsells waiting for you like a landmine during the checkout process.
Many of these ‘hidden’ costs revolve around increased renewal rates. That’s why we were glad (and frankly, surprised) to see WestHost has a big price list of these details for all of their products. Everything is literally all out in the open for you to review — no tricky legalese to decipher.
The only tedious thing is that you’ll have to sort through dozens, if not hundreds, of their product variations to find specific answers (like the renewal rate differences between domain names with .coms vs. .org).
But either way, we applaud their effort to at least be open about all of the ways their products could cost you more in the near future.
9. 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 replies were a bit delayed, but overall still knowledgeable and helpful.
Cons of Using WestHost Hosting
Unfortunately, WestHost had also some drawbacks.
Let’s see these in detail.
2. 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 a direct quote from their Terms and Conditions page:
“Our 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 5GB in size or a cumulative size of all databases in excess of 10GB can have a significant impact on server performance. We 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 termination of your account.”
Essentially, even though they promised unlimited hosting, your account should generally not have databases that exceed a cumulative 10GB. 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.
3. 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 $1.99 monthly but you can only get that price if you pay for one to three years at once. The actual price is $8 per month, and the minimum term you can pay for is 3 months at $9.00/mo.
4. Some Restrictions…
Some of their plans are too restrictive. For example, their WordPress hosting plans only allow 1 domain name per server. We believe that they can do better than this.
5. 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 ($1.99/mo), you can only purchase it for a single year. After that, the price then jumps to $8/mo.
Compare that ‘lost’ ~$6/mo over the course of two years in comparison, and you’re basically overpaying by around $144 over the first three years.
That’s not the only issue, though.
WestHost’s cheapest shared hosting option (the Personal plan) 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 $1.99/mo now ends up looking really expensive when you factor in all of these ‘hidden’ costs.
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
|Other Features||–||• Free Domain||• Free Domain
• Free SSL Security
• Free Dedicated IP
- Free Domain: Only on 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.
- Upsells: No upsells.
- Account Activation: Instant Activation.
- Control Panel and Dashboard Experience: cPanel.
- Installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): Quick installation of popular apps and CMSs via Softaculous.
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 really average support.
If you like their 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.