Ideahost Review – Cheap Pricing with a Hefty Feature? Really?
Important note: IdeaHost is no longer in service (see here). Apparently Endurance International Group is consolidating its hosting brands and closing down many outlets in 2017/2018.
For more choices in cheap hosting, here are the lists to check out:
- Hosting Advice’s 12 Best Cheap Hosting
- Mashable’s Cheap Web Hosting List
- WHSR’s Cheap Web Hosting Guide
If you are seeking an entry-level, budget hosting service, then you may have run across the Ideahost website in your research. And you may be wondering if this host is worth a deeper look. Well, I’ve done the legwork for you. Here’s what you need to know about Ideahost.
Ideahost – The New Kid On The Block
If you’ve been to visit the eHost or HostClear websites, as well, you will notice there are lots of similarities. That’s because all three of these hosting brands are owned by the giant Endurance International Group (NASDAQ: EIGI).
I did some looking around to see if I could find Ideahost on social media. There are several companies that go by this same name, but none of them are located in the US, where Ideahost is based. As the brand grows, I hope to see it involved in social media so we can all get to know this new hosting service better.
The Web Servers of Ideahost
All servers are located in the United States. I tested their server response time as a couple milliseconds in locations on both coasts of U.S., but users in countries located much further away might experience a slight lag in page loading time, although it was still pretty speedy (872 ms for Sydney, Australia). That makes Ideahost best for North American customers.
Ideahost Features – What Do You Get from The Host?
Unlimited Space, Bandwidth, Add-on Domains, Databases & Email Accounts
For someone who is starting out with their first website, Ideahost provides a very simplified way to do so. There is only one type of plan, which is shared hosting, and the cheapest tier ($2.99 /month) comes with 500GB of space and unlimited bandwidth, domains, databases, email accounts. What differs the cheaper and higher tier of service is the amount of allocated disk space, from 500GB to unlimited disk space.
Manage My Websites with cPanel
What Ideahost does offer is just enough features to get you going. As you can see from the screenshot above, the home page interface is clean and simple. I set up my account with the cPanel management console and it is easily accessed by clicking on the “Manage” button to the right of my domain. With cPanel, Ideahost offers a WordPress setup wizard and its own drag-and-drop builder, handy tools for someone without any experience.
Build A Site with Drag & Drop Builder
There is also a drag-and-drop site builder called, oddly enough, SiteBuilder, with thousands of templates if you want to create a regular website. A photo gallery wizard is available, as well.Be forewarned, however, that if you choose to use the SiteBuilder (an option when you first log into your account) console, you won’t be able to use cPanel to manage your website; it’s either/or so whatever you choose initially is what you will have to stick with.
PayPal Supported & $200 Worth of Free Ad Credits
Additional features of note include a basic online store with shopping cart and PayPal integration, lots of help and credits for online marketing and plenty of email options (forwarders, autoresponders, spam filters, virus checking and choice of POP or IMAP). As is usual with many web hosting companies, there are credits available for advertising on Bing and Google.
Easily Access To Latest Add-ons From Ideahost Market Place
An automatic backup service is an optional feature available at an additional charge, as are a dedicated IP address, spam protection, domain privacy, domain registration and SiteLock protection.
Ideahost at a Value Price + 45-day Money Back
With monthly rates starting at $2.99 (with a two-year contract), Ideahost is definitely one of the cheapest hosting services you can find. Along with that great monthly rate, you get a domain name free for the life of your plan.
Tip: If you want to add another website and domain to your account, you can get a smoking deal simply by ordering it through your account console, getting to the payment page, then clicking the “back” button.
Ideahost allows you a period of 45 days to decide whether or not you like it. Within that first month-and-a-half-long period, you can cancel and get a full refund, minus $15 for your domain name, by filling out an online cancellation form.
What I Learned from Ideahost’s Terms of Service
It’s an accepted practice in the industry but one you should be aware of: if Ideahost reviews your usage and finds that your site is hogging “CPU, disk space or other resources,” they could choose to take your site down without warning.
Ideahost includes a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee with their shared hosting plans. Of course, you can’t claim it for any server downtime caused by planned maintenance and you can’t use your own monitoring service to prove downtime. But if you are eligible for a credit due to downtime, it’s a simple process to start a ticket through the online support desk and get a month’s worth of hosting credit.
Ideahost Review Conclusions – Is Ideahost Even Near To Ideal?
What are you looking for in a web host? If you are a personal blogger or someone who just needs a simple site for a small business, the features of Ideahost’s shared hosting plan are sufficient. They have simplified everything about creating and managing a website as much as possible, so it’s a good choice for someone with no experience, especially if you are building a simple portfolio website.
However, if you are looking for additional web development control, upgrades, server options and the ability to grow your site, Ideahost can’t accommodate your needs; for that you will need a heftier hosting solution. In this case, a business-class host such as Inmotion Hosting is better choices for superior speed and reliability that is still very affordable. If you are unsure about it, the 45-day money back guarantee in Ideahost could work to your advantage.