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Brad Smith

Hosting Reviewer

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 owns MidPhase hosting.

Westhost hosting review

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 Rating:

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%.

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

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.

WestHost Speed Apr. 2020 - Mar. 2021
WestHost average speed See stats

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. WestHost live chat

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).

WestHost billing cycleThe 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
Pricing $1.00/month
Renews at $8.00/mo
$2.00/month
Renews at $13.00/mo
$3.00/month
Renews at $16.00/mo
Websites 1 Unlimited Unlimited
Bandwidth 1000GB 2500GB Unmetered
Storage 50GB 200GB Unmetered
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

Quick Facts

  • 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.

Best alternatives for WestHost:

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.

6 user reviews for WestHost

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    jim

    2  — April 13, 2021

    No Phone Support

    I’ve been with WestHost for 10-12 years. They were a very good service in the beginning but as time passed they’ve declined. Their service is pretty reliable, but you have to hope you don’t have a problem. They no longer have phone technical support and their Chat is unresponsive. And Chat is a hard way to discuss problems anyway. So, if you have issues you may be all alone, like me.

    Joanne

    1  — November 10, 2020

    From Good to TERRIBLE

    I’ve been with Westhost since it’s inception and last year my entire business was disrupted. The so called changes they made to improve services left my company with downed emails and websites, only to find that I was migrated to a plan that only supported one of my sites and if I wanted the remaining 8 sites and associated email addresses I had to make additional purchases. You would think that for a customer that’s been with for over 20 years carrying a Business would have been given more care and consideration.

    I’ve requested a phone call to resolve all of this and was told I could only submit my issues to the support team by email and some will respond. This company has done me a grave disservice, THE WORST!

    Richard H

    1  — October 23, 2020

    They were once good. Now very bad

    For more than 10 years I have used and recommended to my clients Westhost. Then about a year ago, the technical support department moved from mostly competent people in Utah to incompetent staff in U.K. I have been very frustrated with their support. So, I have started shifting accounts away from Westhost.

    One thing that irritates me very much is their “100% Lifetime Satisfaction Promise” which is boldly stated on their About Us page. I recently approached Westhost for a refund of the unused service (13 months left) and they said that they do not offer refunds. Therefore their “100% Lifetime Satisfaction Promise” is meaningless.

    Nolan

    1  — August 21, 2019

    Problems, problems, problems

    WestHost is a no.

    From the first day, our account was activated incorrectly. This resulted in the first experience with their longer than average support queues. I was finally able to contact a representative using their live chat (after two hours of waiting), who advised my the IP address of shared server had been set up incorrectly and the A Record needed updating. This process is available to users but is well-hidden in their cPanel, so I waited another 20 minutes for the representative to handle it.

    After this I was able to try installing software, but was met with multiple applications with unresolvable dependencies. Finally, forced to accept my fifth choice for site software, I got my site set up. I went to work the next day, and upon coming home decided to work on the website – but I can’t because the account has been suspended for “fraud”. This began another 2 hour wait in the support queue before being told the company doesn’t have any direct record of what flagged my account, but that they couldn’t ever reactivate my service and that my domain would not be transferable. When I asked for a supervisor or administrator I was told they would not be able to do anything because the fraud detection system is automated and my account was already suspended.

    I of course requested a refund and while this was granted, I was told it may take over a week to see the funds returned. Needless to say, I’m looking for a new hosting provider.

    E.G.

    2  — December 23, 2016

    Established Host, But Doesn’t Keep Up

    I have been with Westhost for many years, maybe 10 or more. When I first selected Westhost they were right on top of everything. But, they keep slipping. At one point between me and my clients I was managing 6 accounts there, but I’ve been moving them all away because of poor service.

    Tech support is awesome when you call in — for as long as they are on the call. However, the follow-up is pitiful. If the problem is bigger than the front line tech can handle, it does not get escalated, and I rarely get a follow-up email or call as promised. You have to hound them.

    The kicker for me is the slowness. We built a WordPress site which ran OK. We had several slowness issues, so I hired another developer (specialist) to assist. He concluded it was issues with Westhost, but when we called them, the tech treated us like kids and emphatically insisted that their system was fine. We moved the site to another host and it was noticeably faster — like 3X. On another website, one page took 40+ seconds to load on Westhost. We talked with them about the problems repeatedly and they couldn’t / wouldn’t fix anything. Yes, it is a heavy page, but not that heavy. We moved it to another host and without any optimization it loaded in about 4 seconds. 10 times faster! We worked with that host a little and now it loads in 2-3 seconds. Westhost has fallen behind the curve, and they don’t know why.

    Keep looking if you’re considering Westhost.

    James S

    4  — May 4, 2016

    Performance is OK, customer support is great

    I use WestHost for my small e-commerce site that gets approx. 1000 visits/month. I know it’s not much, that’s why I opted in for WestHost shared hosting (according to my research it’s pretty cheap).

    I’ve seen some temporary glitches – a bit slow loading times or site being offline, but that has never been very long (probably 5 minutes max).

    However, I must give a big thumbs up to their customer support as whenever I have issues, it never took more than 5 minutes to get in touch with them (using live chat) and in ALL cases they’ve answered my questions very professionally. If you ask me to rate WestHost, I’d give it 7,5/10.