This review of Web Hosting Hub is one that I have been meaning to write for a long time. I felt a sense of responsibility towards other webmasters who may consider using this host, so I wanted to get the story out as soon as possible.
Overall, I did not have a very pleasant experience with WebHostingHub and their support staff especially.
But more on that later.
Let’s first see what this company is all about and what they offer.
A Little About the Company
WebHostingHub.com offers quality shared web hosting and they seem to be drawn to small businesses. Founded in 2001, the company is guided by ambitious visions, which is to strive towards better provision, operational excellence and state-of-the-art green technology.
The company operates out of Virginia Beach in the USA and they are a full fledged USA company, but they have never been upfront on exactly who owns the company.
The hosting services offered here are pretty standard, but they do provide their expertise in helping customers to optimize their websites. Their primary target market is people and businesses that are not exactly active on the web but fancy a quick launch pad to get their online business going.
BBB Review & Rating
The company has been a BBB Accredited Business since late 2010 and enjoys an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. What was interesting to me was the fact that despite my bad experience and those of others I know, there are only 9 recorded complaints against WebHostingHub on BBB.
I was expecting to see way more complaints, but then again, not everybody takes the time to review a host on BBB and write a complaint.
Web Hosting Hub’s Plans & Pricing
The hosting plans at WebHostingHub revolve around shared hosting. It is true that their support pages preach about the various capabilities and limitations of VPS, cloud and dedicated hosting in an elaborate way, but the website does not make any mention if these options are available and what would be the pricing structure.
For shared hosting, there is a straightforward pricing structure, which is based on a sliding scale. The longer you commit to a web hosting with them, the better discount you are going to get.
The longest contract here runs for 3 years, so that is the cheapest price level you can get to if you sign 3 years.
Here is the breakdown:
- $4.99/mo if you pay for 36 months
- $5.99/mo if you pay for 24 months
- $6.99/mo if you pay for 12 months
The bundle inside a shared web hosting package includes a free domain name, a free website builder, unlimited space, unlimited bandwidth and you are free to increase the number of websites and email accounts with no restriction imposed.
They offer an affiliate program as well but customers need to opt in. For every successful referral, the reward is $100 cash, alongside a dedicated customer services contact and other fringe benefits.
Is Your Site Going to be Down Frequently?
One can’t find any uptime data on their official website, and the company never commit to any uptime guarantee. An entry posted in 2011 at the support center seemed to suggest that their facilities could hit uptime of 99.98%. But there was no follow-up evident that verify this claim.
WebHostingHub uses strictly factory-tested Dell servers at their 2 data centers, one located on the east coast of America and the other one on the west coast.
They claim that data centers employ the Green Data Center Technology. Other than these facts, they are not saying much on anything else, including the security systems or network management.
For a small fee payable monthly, you can have your sites backed up at prefixed intervals.
How Is the All Important Support?
The company allows open access to their support center free of charge. Customers can also access their knowledge bases, forums and an education channel (numerous tutorials provided to get you up to speed quickly) through their website.
For direct support, the official channels are the live chat, telephone help and an online help desk portal. These channels are manned by US based support members and they are available 24/7.
WebHostingHub has successfully pulled together a useful community channel. Here users can check out postings, make queries and answer queries from others. But it is more than a free user community form.
There are designated support staffs to monitor the channel, who oversee that every query is responded within a 60 minutes time frame, which I must say is outstanding.
They do have an active Facebook page, but in recent years, posts have been rare and irregular. Regardless, it still stays handy as they sometimes provide links to the latest tools and information, useful to keep up with technology and building state of the art websites. They are also active on Twitter and they habitually respond to queries in a timely manner.
What’s the Deal with Control Panel?
cPanel is the control panel of choice for WebHostingHub. This is the most ubiquitous control panel in the shared hosting industry. The login button is embedded on their home page.
cPanel provides easy to navigate user interfaces so you can administer your account with ease. Even new users are not anticipated to face difficulty as they go through the learning curve.
In addition to user admin, there are also quite a few advanced tools to keep you busy if you are keen to learn.
Upon signing up, you are “rewarded” (oh please! every hosting company today provides these extras, including iPage, HostMonster and others. It’s just the standard) you with a bonus $75 Google Adwords credit and a free domain name.
You will be provided a free website builder and blogging software. There are also a number of e-commerce tools for you to integrate into your websites; things like Cube Cart, a shared SSL certificate, Google Checkout and PayPal.
Quick installation features make installation of blogging tools like WordPress, Nucleus and b2evolution a breeze. Ditto with CMS like Joomla, Drupal and Geeklog!
An online forum phpBB is also provided, as are a host of photo sharing tools. Unlimited FTP Accounts, sub-domains and parked domains are among the standard features.
If you choose not to purchase their bolt-on backup services, you will be handled a free backup wizard for your backup routines.
If you are working on the transfer of your current domain name, they do obliges you with a free temporary URL, so you can perform extensive tests and trials before finally porting over.
At a fee, they can also help you to design and work on your web stuff; including business sites, SEO services and social media consultation.
What If You Are Not Satisfied?
The web hosting plans from WebHostingHub come with a generous 90-day refund/ guarantee policy. But you will never recover your investment in full.
Consistent with industry practice, whatever you spent on SSL certificates, domain privacy and domain names will not make part of the refund.
The policy states that any cancellation occurs within 90 days from the contract will be entitled to a full refund, for any costs that are associated with the hosting service alone.
If you get a free domain name upon signing up, the equivalent amount would be knocked off from the refund, the same rule applies to a dedicated IP as well.
Cancellation can be effected with the submission of an electronic cancellation form, so it is pretty hassle free.
WebHostingHub Reviews from Around the Web
Consistent with other reviews I have done, I went online to check out what other folks had to say about WHH. Here are the major points I picked up from reading those reviews divided into pros and cons:
- The company has a money back guarantee. The refund is full if cancellation happens within 90 days, if you run over those 90 days, you can still have some money back worked out on prorated basis.
- Unlimited domains through WebHostinHub’s shared hosting plans.
- The ubiquitous cPanel is employed as the control panel, widely acknowledged as the easiest to use control center, even for beginners.
- The most versatile script installer – Softaculous (you will find the installation of WordPress and other CMS systems is going to be a breeze).
24/7 phone support manned by US based native English speakers, so no more language gap or not able to find help when you need it most.
- Their “web hosting comparison page” is obviously scripted to deceive, a completely biased piece of marketing gimmick (more below).
- Horror, and lots of stories of sites hosted by both InMotion and WebHostingHub being hacked. I did not experience this first hand, but there got to be a reason for such widespread comments.
- The business revolves around just shared hosting – there is nothing for you if your business scales up. Of course, it is a prerogative on the part of WHH. However, if you like choices and options, you are going to be disappointed.
- Unresponsive live chat support (you have to listen to over 10 minutes of hold music even for the simplest answers). It is customary for web hosts to issue support ticket and put you in a queue, Hub links you up with a real person straight away. That has its appeal – but soon you will realize that this guy seems to be entertaining a whole bunch of people all at the same time in the chat. Mind you, I did not just call once! My point is that it is impossible to expect decent support from support personnel who is obviously overwhelmed with support requests.
- Support tickets take a long time to be attended to. Typical response time here is about 24 hours turnaround, there are a lot more competitive providers in this regard.
- I did my own monitoring over 60 days span, and my observation is 99.68% uptime. This certainly does not measure up with the industry benchmark.
My Major Beef With WebHostingHub
Slow support and limited options can be disappointing indeed, but advertisement designed to deceive is a sure turn-off, pure and simple.
Their website has a page that measures themselves against the various competitions. All prominent competitors are listed and you can point your mouse to any of these companies and follow the individual link to read supposedly third party reviews.
Obviously, this “review site” and the web host have some pre-arranged deals; both WHH and InMotion are ranked highly. All 96 respondents are unanimous that InMotion is a good hosting company, and all 25 respondents confer that WHH is a good hosting company.
Frankly, I pay little attention to how good any company can be, it is normal to have something that does not work out well from time to time.
An indication of the perfect score not only insults the intelligence of the masses but also sounds outright ridiculous. Never have even one single negative review? I would never buy that!
And while the website says all user reviews are welcome, but they only publish reviews that fit their purposes and intent. I once wrote about a negative experience with InMotion and it never sees the light of day. Scums.
Bottom line is that WebHostingHub just borders about average as a service provider – but I would never recommend folks this provider for the unethical practices described in this review.
Once a company, WebHostingHub or any other, crosses that line, it is best to stay clear of them.