Author: Matthew Rogers
Last Updated: September 2019
Why our reviews are worth reading
As a web agency, we use/test a LOT of hosting providers to scale both our clients and our many many side-projects (we like to experiment).
Having done this for quite a few years now, we've used, analysed, and reviewed a lot of web hosts... these are our findings.
A few of the better-known brands that link to our content
HostNine: A quick summary for people with no time (pretty much all of us)
Sadly, in a nutshell, we don’t recommend HostNine, for a few reasons with the main ones being uptime and support, which is a deadly combo. Let’s run through a few problems we found.
Uptime: Soooooooooo many complaints about websites going down, for extended periods. From all the web hosts we’ve reviewed, HostNine is in the top 3 for worst uptime. Not good if you’re running a business, or a blog… or basically any website.
Support: When your site goes down, you’d like support to fix it asap right? Well, bit of an issue with HostNine, while their staff seems to be mostly friendly, the support itself is less than efficient.
SSL: This confuses us, SSL (https) is a must these days… Google is even labelling normal http sites as visibly “not secure”, and it hurts your rankings. On top of that, you can get them for free, almost all decent hosts therefor offer them for free…but not HostNine, an SSL certificate (again, these are a must these days) will set you back $39.99. Why?
Pricing: A tad on the expensive side for what you get. $6.99 and you can’t even host in the UK (you need to up your plan to get access to their UK servers… it would cost you $11.09)
So what we’re really saying is… there are better hosts out there that do offer free SSL and UK data centres. Our favourite is still SiteGround, they’re great at security, very responsive support that actually works, they have multiple data centres around the world w/o having to pay more (including in London), and are officially recommended by WordPress (they can, of course, tackle any CMS you throw at them). They’re a true no-brainer, check out our review here.
Still interested in HostNine, keep reading below.
Founded in 2006, HostNine is one of the younger companies providing web hosting services. They were acquired by Endurance International Group (EIG) in 2012, a company that also owns giants like BlueHost and HostGator.
HostNine offers a variety of products and services. These include Shared Hosting, Reseller Hosting, Cloud VPS, Dedicated Servers, and Domain Registration. They pride in having multiple data centres spanning 3 continents allowing you to host closer to your customers (so you can host in the UK if you want) for both site speed and SEO purposes, although these additional locations are only available on the more expensive hosting packages.
HostNine provides three types of Shared Hosting packages. The said plans are named Personal, Business, and Enterprise. These can be seen below:
The cheapest plan is called Personal and costs USD 6.99 per month if billed annually. However, if you want to opt for a month-to-month mode of payment, it will cost you USD 8.29. With the said plan, you can have one domain per hosting account. This means you can only host one website in your account.
With the Personal package, you get to have unlimited storage space. This means you get an infinite amount of disk space for your website allowing you to place large files (e.g. images and videos) for both viewing and downloading purposes.
The plan also gives you unlimited bandwidth. Again, another advantage for you. When you have more-than-average traffic that might be thousands or millions per month, you get to accommodate them all at no extra charge. Unlimited, right? Data transfer from the server to the device requesting for it is not limited to a specific amount (in this case, bandwidth).
They provide you with a traditional cPanel access that gives you the ability to monitor and manage your website. It has an easy-to-use interface that you can use to manage domains, files, email, and FTP accounts.
A Softaculous installer is also included. With its one-click feature, you can install various applications such as WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla!. You don’t need to have coding experience when building a WordPress site from scratch. You simply have to specify the directory where you’d like the program to be installed in and the rest will be done for you.
Security is taken seriously with their ClamAV. This is an antivirus tool and is installed by default on all packages. It has the ability to scan emails for malicious software. An anti-spam software in the form of SpamAssassin is also provided. This helps protect you against unwanted and malicious email messages.
Every plan has the ability to have unlimited POP3/ IMAP email accounts. Anti-spam features are available. In addition, you can also create mailing lists allowing you to send messages to multiple people at one time. With unlimited email accounts, every person (or department) who handles your website or business will have his/ her own account to manage.
HostNine provides various options for support. These include the following:
- Knowledge Base
- Online Live Chat
- Ticket Support
The Knowledge Base contains how-to guides on managing the various products and services of the company. The online live chat feature is available 24/7. Priority support is only available if you opt for the most expensive plan, Enterprise. This costs USD 14.99 per month if billed annually. If paid on a month-to-month basis, it will cost you USD 19.99.
Reviews of their customer support system are mostly negative. Other people even stated that it took them months before they respond to support tickets. Although it takes only a few minutes to contact them via live chat, their representative wasn’t able to answer simple questions and try to avoid answering the questions directly.
The downside to HostNine is their lack of support through the phone. There are some things you just can’t say through written text. These problems are best stated over the phone using your voice. In addition, they have a ticket support wherein the ticket has to be placed by the company representatives themselves. Tickets will only be placed if a certain problem cannot be fixed through live chat.
Other hosting companies provide more options for support including telephone, ticket submission, online live chat, forums, knowledge base, and a service status page. Clearly, HostNine lacks the robust support it blatantly shows on its website.
There are some advantages to working with HostNine. Below are some of them:
Some hosting companies offer a limited amount of storage. With HostNine’s cheapest plan, you already get unlimited storage allowing you to use high-quality videos and images on your site. You can also host downloadables that your would-be customers can obtain and use to learn more information about your products and services.
There is no cap on the amount of traffic you can accommodate. With unlimited bandwidth, you can have thousands or millions of website viewers without having to pay extra for an unusually large amount of traffic.
Unlimited Email Accounts
You can have unlimited email accounts for each department of your business (or website). These email accounts have spam filtering features in the form of SpamAssassin. Mailing lists are also available allowing you to send a message to multiple people in one go.
There are multiple disadvantages to working with HostNine. Below are some of them:
Poor Customer Support
Their only way of giving you support is through their self-help Knowledge Base and Online Live Chat System. A ticket support system is only available if a HostNine representative opens it for you. This is done in cases where problems cannot be fixed through live chat or knowledge base.
Telephone support is unavailable. This is a bummer since sometimes you just need to point out your problems using your voice (instead of written text). Reviews are mostly negative when it comes to their support system as well. Priority support is only available if you opt for the most expensive shared hosting plan, Enterprise.
No Free Domain
Most hosting companies give you a free domain name for a full year even for their cheapest plans. This can help you save a few pounds. However, HostNine doesn’t provide you with a free domain. It is only available in the next plan, Business. This package costs USD 11.09 per month if billed annually. It will cost you USD 14.79 per month if billed monthly.
They promised a 99.99% uptime, but do they actually live up to it? Apparently, not. Most reviews (even those seen in the Better Business Bureau—BBB) stated that uptime was terrible and websites always crashed. This costs clients thousands of dollars in potential profit.
When choosing a web hosting company, uptime is a very important factor. If they do not live up to the industry standard of 99.95% uptime, then you’re business (or your website) is bound to fail in getting clients and sales. Having a terrible uptime, HostNine is surely failing its promise of good hosting services to its clients.
One Domain Only
You can only have one website per hosting account. This is too few compared to other hosting providers that allow you to have unlimited websites on one hosting account. If you want an unlimited number of domains, you can sign up for the Business package.
Nope! We do not love HostNine and won’t persuade you to sign up for their shared hosting services. Terrible uptime is one reason. When your website crashes all the time, how will you get the sales you need? How will you do business?
Plus, their terrible support system is another factor. Once your website crashes and you don’t have the support you need, how will you be able to deal with it? HostNine just didn’t make the cut and that’s it.