Hostwinds Review: Based on Seven Years with Hostwinds

Hostwinds was established by Peter Holden in 2010. I signed up for Hostwinds hosting service in 2012. Yes, almost seven years. In this time, I primarily circled around three of their packages Shared, Business and managed VPS hosting.

Neither this is the promotional post nor the purpose is to malign Hostwinds.

In this Hostwinds review, I’ll discuss only about the packages I used and their technical support. I learned a lot about the company and their services so my priority will be to share a rational point of view about them.

Let’s biggest begin from the beginning.

Shared Hosting

Shared Hosting - Hostwinds Review

This is how I started using them. Quite affordable hosting plan with three different packages for different number of domains. Rest of the specifications of all the packages in shared hosting are some. Following are the specifications of their shared server.

  • 60 Clients on Single Server
  • 15 Entry processes allowed
  • 256MB Physical Memory/RAM allowed
  • 260,000 Inodes allowed
  • 2MB/s I/O allowed

These resources are fine for smaller websites with few visitors per day or if you are developing something at smaller scale. If you exceed the resources, you will get the “Tornado Alert”. After three consecutive warnings, you will have to upgrade your account.

Business Hosting

Business Web Hosting - Hostwinds Review

After the Shared hosting from Hostwinds, I upgraded to the Advanced package of Business Hosting and used it for around 4 years. It was wonderful time. Average traffic on my WordPress website was around 1K/day. I hosted some small websites as well. Technical support was amazing at this stage. Following are some specs of this server.

  • 50 Clients on Single Server
  • 20 Entry processes allowed
  • 512MB Physical Memory/RAM allowed
  • 600,000 Inodes allowed
  • 4MB/s I/O allowed

Instead of “Tornado Alert”, my websites usually had 508 Resource Outage error on my website. It occurred when I hosted a bit complex WordPress website on their server. So, the upgradation to VPS was obvious. Uptime of my websites was around 80% and most of the downtime was when my team working on it.

Fully (un)Managed Linux VPS Hosting

Managed Linux VPS Hostings - Hostwinds Review

October 9, 2019 was the date when I ordered the Managed Linux VPS Server from Hostwinds with 1 CPU, 1 GB RAM and 30 GB SSD. I couldn’t afford CPanel License so they installed the Open Source CentOS Web Panel for me. Setup of new VPS was very quick and the next day, migration process started.

In Summary, they couldn’t transfer three WordPress and one Vanilla Forums website to the VPS in 7 days.

Downtime during that time was more than 80%. Most common issues that occurred were following.

  • Internal Server Error
  • 403 Errors
  • Redirection Error
  • PHP Version issues
  • DNS issues

Most irritating this was, all these errors were appearing in loop. One after an other and repeat.

They even had to ” Shutdown the Mod Security Completely”. I used to had the sleepless nights just due to this migration. I requested them to allow higher tier to look into this. I even emailed Mr. Peter Holden, founder and CEO of Hostwinds (I’ve his email from the conversations with him back in 2012). After that a Tier 5 support guy appeared, assured me that things will be fixed and never came back. Just like true love in my life.

A week time should be enough for a smooth migration of WordPress websites from CPanel to VPS. But they couldn’t do it.

Billing Support

Billing department support team is usually available from Sunday to Friday. They are very helpful in your queries. I very much remember, that I used to have issues with the payments via card. They always extended my due date whenever I requested.

Once there was a downtime on their shared server. For that month, I enjoyed the hosting for free. I’ll definitely give 5 stars for the billing.

Technical Support

Technical support is good at the shared hosting level but as I explained, they wasn’t up to standard at VPS level. I must acknowledge that at any point, I never felt that they are not trying. I believe they also had sleepless nights to make this migration smooth.

But it was obvious that they lack proper training for this. They could have done better if they were trained and equipped with the right tools to do so.

Conclusion

It was my lovely seven years period with Hostwinds. I enjoyed most of the time with them. Amazing and hardworking team, but as soon as I took few steps up on the ladder, things weren’t same. I took the step of leaving Hostwinds with very heavy heart. I still recommend HostWinds Hosting for small sites but when you are about grow, you should leave.

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