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Dotster has a lot of services that appeal to lots of webmasters. Let’s face it their prices are quite competitive. They offer both Linux and Windows plans for both shared, vps, and a number of different email plans. But, a lot of webmasters have stumbled into the trap of hosting with them.
Whenever I review a web hosting company I like to look at their features, reliability, performance, customer support, and finally their price tag. Once I carefully analyze each of those factors I will give them a 1-5 star rating. You can see this at the top of each review. In this Dotster review I am going to show you why there are better services to do business with.
Hosting with Dotster provides unlimited website disk space and unlimited bandwidth. Customers also receive a drag and drop website builder, DNS management, standard forwarding, web analytics tools, PHP5 service, and Perl/Python. Services are available in three different packages.
- The Basic Hosting package is $3.75 per month. Customers can sign up by the month, quarter, or year. Basic hosting provides for 1 hosted domain, unlimited subdomains, 100 email accounts, 5 FTP logins, and 10 MySQL data bases.
- The Deluxe Hosting plan is normally $7.99 per month, but is currently available at $6.75 per month. Customers receive unlimited domains, unlimited subdomains, 250 email accounts, 25 FTP logins, and 25 MySQL databases.
- The Ultra Hosting package is $13.75 per month. Customers can sign up for monthly, quarterly, or annual service. The package provides unlimited domains, subdomains, email accounts, FTP logins, and MySQL databases. This package also provides for a $24 per month savings on the Premium Support available with Dotster.
Dotster allows Windows hosting on a month-to-month basis, on a quarterly basis, and with annual plans. For new customers, the domain name is free. All three plans provide unlimited website disk space and bandwidth, along with a drag and drop builder, DNS management, standard forwarding, web analytics tools, PHP5, andActivePerl. I do like how they do offer SSD hosting like Host4Asp.net, though.
- The Basic Hosting package is $4.75 per month, quarterly, or year, and allows for 1 domain. Customers also get 100 email accounts, 5 FTP logins, and 10 MySQL databases.
- The Deluxe Hosting package is $7.75 per each pay period. It allows for unlimited domains, 250 email accounts, unlimited FTP logins, and 25 MySQL databases.
- The Ultra Hosting package is $14.75 per month, whether you sign up for monthly service, quartly, or annual. It also provides for unlimited domains, unlimited email accounts, unlimited FTP logins, and 50 MySQL databases.
VPS hosting is intended for businesses and resellers. All three packages supply Linux: CentOS, PHP, Perl, and Python, and web analytics. cPanel is available for all three packages, and mailboxes are unlimited.
- The Standard hosting plan is $29.70. It provides 512 MB of dedicared RAM, 20 GB of disk space, 1000 GB of Bandwidth, as well as unlimited mailboxes, MySQL Databases, and domains.
- The Pro hosting plan is $41.60 per month, and provides 1024 MB of RAM, 40 GB of disk space, and 1500 GB of bandwidth. MySQL databases and domains are unlimited
- The Premium plan is $67.95 per month, with 2048 MB of dedicated RAM, 60 GB disk space, and 2000 GB of bandwidth. MySQL and domains are unlimited.
Dotster provides for personal and/or business email, with your domain.
- The Basic email package is 99 cents per month, and provides OX webmail, protection from spam and viruses, 30 email aliases, and 10 email addresses.
- The Deluxe email package is $1.99 per month, and allows for 25 email addresses, OX webmail, protection from spam and viruses, and 75 email aliases.
- The Business Email package is $6.99 per month, and provides document management, shared calendar and contacts, push email for your phone, and protection from spam and viruses.
In today’s internet world that we live in security can be an issue whenever you are hosting your companies site or clients site on a remote server. Thus, a lot of companies have added security services to help safeguard your personal information. One service that Dotster does offer is SiteLock. This helps keep hackers from hacking into your server. It will cost you an extra monthly or yearly expense though. I actually wrote an article on SiteLock; you can see if I believe SiteLock is worth it or not though here.
Dotster Uptime & Performance
Obviously, one huge issue with webmasters seems to be downtime. If you’re website is going offline daily, weekly, and monthly that is a huge problem. According to webhostingstuff.com Dotster’s website has been up 99.99% of the time for 3,310 days. Yes, if you do the math that is more than 9 years. From the research I have done it doesn’t look like customers are complaining about their uptime. In fact, it seems to be quite good. However, lets not get ahead of ourselves and sign up for them just yet. There is more to this piece of the puzzle.
Dotster in terms of performance is spotty at best. Everything is either up and running smoothly or it’s a complete mess. And all signs usually point to problem after problem with their companies performance. Simply put, if you host with Dotster be prepared for problems with your cPanel, site speed, response times, email issues, etc. Really, it would be easier to list what is good about them rather than all the issues webmasters have reported over the years. Of all the hosting companies I have reviewed the performance with them seems to be quite horrible.
Ok, so now comes the time when I will check them with isitdownrightnow.com. This will give me a readout of their response times on their servers. Once, I get the response time on their servers I will then be able to see the actual numbers. Just in case your wondering how I gauge response times I will clarify it down below.
Response times are measured in ms (milliseconds). Basically, any site that responds in under 20 ms I consider to be fast. If their responds in 21-50 ms I consider it average. Anything over 51 ms I consider to be slow. So I conducted my test with Dotster and found out they have response time of 151.79. As you might have guessed this falls in the slow category. There are number of other web hosting companies like InMotion, WebHostinghub.com, SiteGround, and GreenGeeks that respond way under those numbers.
From a check around the net people are ripping this company to shreds.
This are just a few of the negative reviews they have gotten over the years! Pretty much the first page of Google when you Google “Dotster review” is a site warning you not to do business with them.
Dotster Customer Service
Dotster customer service is lacking. Maybe that is an understatement. Many webmasters have reported that their customer support is useless. The first problem I have with their customer service is there is no live chat. Sometimes it’s just easier to hop on live chat and see what the issue is when problems arise with your server. You can’t do that with Dotster! Next, if you want to contact them they do have a number, but this is only for sales. So basically, if you’re interested in purchasing their plans they have no problem talking to you. But, if you’re an existing customer and you have problems, and you will; you’re going to have to email them or submit a ticket to get a response. This wouldn’t be a huge deal with me if they responded to their tickets in a timely manner. It’s very common for them to take 2-6 days to respond (during the week), and you can expect even more of a delay if something happens over the weekend.
Dotster is not your answer for web hosting. They are another company owned by EIG that I don’t recommend. In fact, if you learn anything from my review it’s this; just say no to Dotster. They have a mile long list of problems. Their customer support is lacking. You will be saving yourself a lot of time by just clicking the X button when you land on their site. For one, they’re not reliable and are really offering cheap plans with pretty much no support, period. You’re essentially on your own if you decide to use them. True, their prices are competitive, but the value in the service just isn’t there. I would like to hear from any past or current Dotster customers. If you could take 5 minutes out of your day and leave your experience with them it would be much appreciated.
I recommend InMotion and GreenGeeks because they have great support and can be trusted. I personally use both of those hosting providers myself. You’ll experience excellent customer support, reliability, and performance with both of these companies. As always, thanks for reading my Dotster review.
I started this part specifically for Dotster in March of 2015. Rather than all the other hosting review sites that just state stuff about web hosting companies; I wanted to show you why I stated whatever I have said about Dotster. So this section shows my research I have done on Dotster in my review. I commonly browse the internet for content on them. Whenever, I find something interesting I read it, summarize it, and post it up on tbwhs.com.
I categorize my content into three different categories. These categories are positive, negative, or neutral. I don’t add anything I don’t believe comes from a creditable resource. I really feel it helps to add a ton of value to tbwhs.com to have this special section. There is no need to Google “Dotster reviews” or anything because I have done the research for you. I will be updating this section for Doster whenever I see fit.
This special section for Dotster is for interviews I have conducted with other webmasters about their experience working with them. Whenever I get a comment from a customer of Dotster’s I will email them. Some of the webmasters agree to do an email interview. Once, we do the interview I post it on tbwhs.com. If you have experience working with Dotster, good or bad, please don’t hesitate to contact me or send me a tweet through Twitter @tbwhs.