HostUS is quite a new web hosting company with a relatively small user base when compared with those well-known web hosts like BlueHost. Operating from Delaware, the company was founded in 2012 by a team of experts with the passion for providing professional hosting services.
In the past 4 years, HostUS has made efforts to improve their servers, build up networks, and optimize customers’ overall hosting experience. However, these efforts have not made this provider a top choice on the market due to the long-existing drawbacks in the hosting speed, support, and some other aspects.
In this HostUS review, we will introduce the company’s shared hosting services and analyze the pros and cons, from which you are able to find out whether HostUS is a good shared hosting choice for you.
Below are the company’s ratings in terms of shared hosting.
Pros of HostUS Shared Hosting
Although being young in the industry, HostUS is doing well in offering affordable plans, outstanding uptime, and a number of good features.
The prices are quite affordable
HostUS now offers 3 shared hosting plans all of which come with very cheap prices even if there is no coupon code available. You can see the price information in below.
- Starter: $2/mo when billed monthly, and $15/year when billed annually.
- Premium: $5/mo when billed monthly, and $35/year when billed annually.
- Premium+: $10/mo when billed monthly, and $75/year when billed annually.
These prices are some of the lowest in the industry. However, you should not rush to place an order before getting details about the features included in the plans and the web hosting performance. Price is not the only factor to consider, after all.
There are some good features
From the feature lists of HostUS shared hosting plans, we have found some good things. For example, the Premium and Premium+ plans include unlimited add-on domains, bandwidth, FTP accounts, and email accounts. The disk space offered in the two plans is 20 GB and 70 GB respectively, which is also attractive.
Pay attention that the cheapest plan Starter comes with 5 GB disk space, 100 GB bandwidth, 10 add-on domains and 10 email accounts.
Despite the differences mentioned above, all the plans include the following features.
- cPanel, the most popular Linux control panel, as well as Softaculous auto-installer.
- PHP 4.4/5.x/7.0, MySQL 5.5, Perl 5.10, and Apache 2.4.
- Cron Jobs and custom error pages.
- Free transfer of websites, email accounts and databases from the previous host which uses cPanel.
The uptime is good
HostUS operates from multiple data centers all of which feature physical access controls, redundant power, UPS backup power, fueled generators and air conditioning units in order to guarantee the consistency of the services. Besides, the following facts are true for HostUS.
- It protects servers and networks from DDoS attacks constantly.
- It has built up two networks and offers native IPv6 network connectivity to guarantee the availability of network connections.
- Networks are fully redundant, with multiple carriers and 24×7 centralized management.
With all these infrastructures and facilities, HostUS can provide good uptime with few service interruptions. During the 6 months’ monitoring, the company delivered over 99.9% uptime in 4 months. Below is a part of the monitoring results.
You get various upgrade options
Shared hosting is the best choice when you start a new site. However, as the site grows, you need more dedicated resources to make sure the room for growth, and may want more server control.
To cover these needs, HostUS provides you with multiple upgrade options, including unmanaged VPS, fully managed VPS and even dedicated servers. Unmanaged VPS is quite affordable, starting at $4.95/mo, while managed VPS is expensive, charging at least $49.95/mo.
Cons of HostUS Shared Hosting
With a short history, HostUS doesn’t seem mature enough because we have found many disadvantages in their shared hosting services, for example, the lack of automatic backups, and no instant support via phone. You can get more details in below.
They lack some important features
Despite the good features mentioned before, such as cPanel, Softaculous and free website transfer, the shared hosting plans offered by HostUS still lack some features you might need.
- SSH, a security feature allowing you to establish secure connections remotely, is not available.
- No automatic backups are offered, so you always have to make manual backups.
- Some development features like Ruby on Rails and PostgreSQL are absent.
- None of the plans includes a website builder.
If you need any of these features, you should think twice before buying a shared hosting plan from HostUS.
The server responses are slow
HostUS uses altogether 8 data centers among which 4 of them are in the US, and the other 4 are located in China, Singapore, Australia and the UK respectively. These distributed locations can guarantee good network connectivity and speed in most locations around the world.
However, not all these locations are available for shared hosting. As a shared hosting user, you can only make a choice between the data centers in London, UK and Atlanta, GA. With such locations, your visitors on the western coast of the US may experience slow page loads.
To deliver fast speed, HostUS also claims to store customers’ data on SSDs. But according to the monitoring, this doesn’t make any improvement to the company’s slow server response speed. As the server response time for an average shared web host is about 500ms, that for HostUS is over 700ms.
Support is only available through tickets
HostUS provides around-the-clock support through the ticketing system in the Client Area. When you encounter a technical problem, you can submit a ticket at any time and in most cases, you can receive a reply in one hour. However, sometimes you may need to wait 6 hours or longer, depending on the efficiency of the support agents.
Even though the ticketing system is usually responsive and helpful, technical support is still the largest drawback of HostUS. Nowadays, most Linux hosting providers offer assistance to their customers via live chat, phone, or even both to make sure customers can always get the help they want in the shortest possible time. But HostUS is an exception. Neither of the two support channels is available, which causes much inconvenience, and shows the company’s lack of considerateness.
The knowledgebase is not helpful enough
Knowledgebase is usually a great resource for seeking solutions to simple issues. However, HostUS hasn’t made their knowledgebase as useful as it should be.
So far, they have only added 55 articles to the knowledgebase, which is quite limited considering that the company offers rich products. Among those articles, most of them are FAQs about VPS and reseller hosting, so there are only a few tutorials.
The refund period is too short
Refund is a big concern in regard to the hosting services offered by HostUS because this company only allows refunds within the first 3 days after signup. The refund guarantee is considered to be unreasonable because 3 days are far from being enough for trying a service and testing its performance.
After the guaranteed time, it’s impossible to ask for any refund from HostUS. Besides, you may note that domains, licenses, SSL certificates and IP addresses are excluded from any refund.
In fact, most web hosting providers nowadays provide a minimum of 30 days for new customers to try. Some more confident companies like InMotion even offer refunds for all accounts terminated within a long term of 90 days.
Is HostUS Recommended?
We don’t recommend HostUS for now because their shared hosting services are slow, and the purchases might be risky. Besides, the company hasn’t built up a good reputation yet.
For these reasons, we sincerely suggest you look at more shared hosting providers before making a purchase. Finding a better choice than HostUS is not hard. And according to our experience, all of the following three are worth consideration. Of course, you can search for more choices to make sure you can make the wisest decision.