HostRocket review

    You might not know the title, however New York-based HostRocket has been offering internet hosting companies since 1999, runs its personal knowledge centres, and presently manages round 50,000 web sites.

    The corporate’s personal web site would not encourage a lot enthusiasm, sadly, being a dated-looking checklist of HostRocket’s numerous merchandise: shared internet hosting, VPS, reseller, devoted servers and so forth. These aren’t introduced nicely, and it isn’t at all times straightforward to check what the varied merchandise have to supply.

    HostRocket’s starter Web site Internet hosting product gives limitless every part – storage, bandwidth, web sites, e-mail accounts – for $5.99 (£four.28) a month. That sounds good, particularly with a free web site builder thrown in (RVSiteBuilder), however there are some issues. It’s essential to pay for 2 years’ service up-front to get the marketed worth, and in the event you select a month-to-month or six-monthly cycle you are hit with a $29.99 (£21.43) setup charge.

    An SSD Shared Internet hosting plan offers you speedy SSD RAID storage, however limits space for storing, bandwidth, and the variety of websites you possibly can host, whereas additionally costing notably extra. For example, the baseline SSD Premium plan offers you 5GB SSD storage, 200GB of month-to-month bandwidth and one free area title, however is priced from $9.98 (£7.13) a month. Once more, that is for a two-year plan, though there is no setup charge this time for shorter subscriptions.

    Different merchandise readily available embody some very configurable VPS plans beginning at $39.95 (£28.54) a month, and devoted servers priced from $119 (£85).

    Whereas the costs appear cheap, HostRocket’s dated web site left us questioning concerning the service. Why, as an example, is the location boasting that it helps PHP 5 with the Apache module suPHP, when the state-of-the-art launch is PHP 7, and suPHP is now not maintained and hasn’t seen even a bug repair launch since 2013? We will guess why – HostRocket most likely hasn’t up to date this a part of its web site for a really very long time – however that simply leaves us questioning what else has been uncared for.

    In the event you’re tempted to enroll anyway, a 30-day money-back assure will return your internet hosting charges (much less setup prices and area registration costs) so long as you cancel in time. There aren’t any particular situations, the corporate says, just close your account in the first 30 days and you will get your a reimbursement.

    Account setup 

    HostRocket has a variety of merchandise, and discovering the fitting one for you will be tough. The web site would not present a simple technique to examine merchandise, and the plan pages do not clearly spotlight the full costs for his or her numerous billing cycles. It’s important to attain for a calculator or click on the Purchase Now button to see precisely what you may be anticipated to pay. 

    Make your selection anyway and you will be supplied a selection of two knowledge centres. Usually that is a profit nicely price having, however right here your choices are New York or Chicago, and until your audience is near a kind of cities, your choice is unlikely to make a lot distinction. 

    HostRocket asks for all of your typical contact particulars – title, firm title, e-mail, bodily deal with and cellphone quantity – and goes even additional by asking for an SMS quantity to obtain notifications. It is good that the corporate can notify you this manner, however we expect this must be non-compulsory, not obligatory for all. 

    Funds are accepted by card solely, however HostRocket will get a bonus level right here for permitting customers to show off recurring billing. 

    We stuffed within the kind, handed over our fee particulars and the method largely accomplished as we anticipated, though for some purpose the acknowledgement web page was displayed in Danish. Moments later HostRocket’s welcome emails arrived, additionally in a mixture of English and Danish, and logging into the net console revealed a largely Danish interface. 

    This was the right alternative to check assist, so we raised a ticket instantly. An e-mail response arrived solely three minutes later stating that HostRocket had made a ‘change to the system’, and positive sufficient, the interface was largely again in English (one or two fields on some pages have been now displayed in Chinese language). That was a formidable response time, however the truth that it might occur in any respect, and wasn’t fastened on the first try, was a priority. 

    Sadly, there was an much more vital downside elsewhere. Though the web site promised ‘three free months’ with an annual plan, this wasn’t included with our order. We had anticipated a reduction or 15 months for the value of 12, however no– there was no saving or further subscription time. 

    It was time for one more assist question. We raised a ticket and 75 minutes later an agent stated they’d modified our billing date to increase it by three months. That is nice for us, but when it is a common challenge, what number of clients do not even discover they have been short-changed? It should not be as much as the end-user to ask for an marketed profit.

    Making a website 

    HostRocket accounts seem like arrange manually, so you might not have the ability to entry your internet area immediately. This could be a little annoying in the event you’re used to the moment activation you may generally get elsewhere, however you might not have to attend too lengthy: our plan was able to go in round 90 minutes. 

    Logging in to HostRocket’s website took us to a really customary account administration display screen the place we might view our plans, domains, tickets, invoices and extra. The one oddity was a ‘Latest Information’ part with a single article dated Thursday, October 27, 2016. Latest? It appears this was one more space of the HostRocket website which hadn’t been up to date in a while. 

    The HostRocket web site claimed its shared accounts included RVSiteBuilder, a web-based site-building instrument with a big library of templates. It’s miles from one of the best web site builder, however would nonetheless have been a welcome addition to the bundle.

    Besides, nicely, we could not see RVSiteBuilder linked anyplace in our account interface. It did not price a single point out within the assist knowledgebase or anyplace else on the HostRocket website, aside from the shared internet hosting function checklist. 

    What was happening? We raised one more assist ticket to ask, and a reply arrived inside minutes telling us RVSiteBuilder was solely obtainable on ‘choose newer servers’, however not the one internet hosting our account. The instructed resolution was that HostRocket might delete our account and recreate it (freed from cost) on the brand new server, lastly giving us entry to RVSiteBuilder. 

    Whereas the corporate deserves a little bit credit score for providing a workaround, that is one other challenge the place a typical function wasn’t included with our order, and we expect that is unacceptable. No matter options are promised on the web site should be supplied by default to all clients, in any other case the corporate seems unprofessional at finest, untrustworthy and even dishonest at worst. 

    Happily, there have been different web site creation choices round. Deciding on our internet hosting account displayed a easy management panel the place we might rapidly create e-mail accounts or launch a (cPanel-based) File Supervisor to manually add our web site information. 

    If you recognize what you are doing, you possibly can log in to cPanel on to handle each side of your website online, or use the bundled copy of the wonderful Softaculous to simply set up WordPress, Joomla, PrestaShop, Magento and a whole lot of different well-liked apps.



    Help is a key ingredient of each good internet hosting service, so we wish to spend a while testing how an organization performs. 

    HostRocket’s internet console gives a transparent and really apparent Help menu with hyperlinks to account administration, an online knowledgebase and an choice to submit a ticket.  Ticket and email-based assist is obtainable 24/7, however there is no dwell chat and phone assist is for devoted, reseller and colocation purchasers solely.

    The Knowledgebase has greater than 300 assist articles organised into well-chosen classes: cPanel, Area Registration and DNS, Electronic mail, FAQ and Troubleshooting, Gross sales and Billing and Web site Growth. 

    The Knowledgebase additionally highlights 5 ‘Most Fashionable Articles’, and unusually these actually do cowl the small print that many new clients will wish to know: easy methods to create e-mail accounts, which nameservers to make use of, easy methods to add information to your internet area, and extra. 

    The content material of the articles usually covers the fundamentals, however nothing extra. There are only a few screenshots and technical content material is saved to a minimal. For instance, the web page on altering your PHP version and settings would not talk about why you may wish to do that, or what your choices are, or what the consequences is perhaps, or offer you any examples of settings that could possibly be price altering. There’s little greater than ‘go right here to vary the PHP model, and as soon as you’ve got completed that you’ll tweak some settings.’ 

    If the Knowledgebase cannot reply your query, it is simple to create a ticket and ask an actual assist agent. As we have talked about above, our questions have been answered by a pleasant and useful agent inside only a few minutes. 

    As ever, we accomplished our evaluation by operating a number of pace checks on our demo web site, the default WordPress set up. Efficiency was inconsistent however usually above common, greater than acceptable for a price range shared internet hosting plan. 

    Closing Verdict 

    HostRocket’s shared internet hosting is not unhealthy, however having to ask the corporate to ship marketed options is a serious crimson flag and makes the service very tough to suggest. 

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