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You might have heard of HostNine hosting solutions. They have been in business since 2006 and offer their products and services to many people at an affordable rate. HostNine is owned by EIG which owns lots of hosting companies like PowWeb, Netfirms, A Small Orange, JustHost, and WebHost4Life.
HostNine has been boasting about their reliable products or services to clients for many years now. They have services that you can compare to HostGator. Since I have seen them advertised more and more, I figured I would evaluate them and write up a review.
They’re saying that they value their customers more than anything else. Due to that fact, they’ve expanded their hosting services dramatically by continuing to developing their services. The company is also saying that they continue to expand their services because they listen to their client’s needs. Through the years, they have operated in many data centers around the world.
When I review a hosts, I like to look at some things. For instance, the features, uptime, performance, customer service, and then the price tag. Once I have carefully evaluated these different factors I will either recommend them or point you in another direction. If you’re not interested in reading this full HostNine review, just know that I don’t recommend their service to other webmasters.
HostNine indeed offers some different plans that should be able to support anything you need. They offer shared hosting, reseller, cloud VPS, dedicated, and media hosting (which is an option for those that run websites with video/audio). Now, let’s take a look at these plans.
For shared plans, you have the option to buy their personal, business, and enterprise plans. One thing I do like about these shared plans is the price tag. For what you’re getting the price is certainly on par with other companies. For each of their plans, you get unlimited bandwidth and storage. I have never been a fan of something saying unlimited, though. I like to know the actual limits.
This plan only allows you one domain for the plan for $3.95/month (1-year contract). But, unlike WebHostingHub or A2 Hosting, you don’t get a free domain name when you purchase this plan. You only have the option to have a server located in the United States for this plan. Dedicated IP’s are $2/month extra. SSL Certificates are also $39.95/year.
The next plan you can purchase is their business plan for $5.95/month (1-year contract). With this one, you can put 100 domain names on this server. Also, just like the personal plan a free domain is not included. Just like the personal plan dedicated IP’s are $2/month and SSL Certificates are also $39.95/year.
The highest shared hosting plan you can get is the enterprise plan. It cost $8.95/month (1-year contract). Like the business plan, you can put 100 sites on this server. But, dedicated IP’s and SSL Certificates are free with this plan. Also, you do get a free domain name with this plan as well.
I do like how HostNine does backup your data with Raid-1/10 protection. It takes a mirror of your data and stores it on a remote server. For this they use R1Soft. Other hosting companies that will charge you a monthly fee to backup your files.
Choose Server Location
With their business and enterprise plan you can choose where you want your data center to be located. For instance, it can be located in the United States (Texas, Seattle, and Washington D.C.). For UK users their servers are located outside of London. Also, you have the option to pick data centers in Singapore and the Netherlands. Pretty cool!
If you need a reseller plan, they offer five different plans to meet your needs. I have just included a screenshot to show you the details above. Each of these plans has some different accounts you can use, storage, bandwidth, and additional IP’s you can purchase. You do have the option to pick where you want your server to be located. The prices are pretty reasonable, and they range anywhere from $18.95-$93.95/month.
I did find this video on HostNine, and it looks like users are using them for a private blog network. It is a no-no for SEO and violates Googles TOS. It’s stated as a blackhat SEO technic, which I wouldn’t recommend anyone do.
Cloud VPS is also an option with HostNine. They have seven different plans you can take advantage of. The details are down below:
- 2x 2.5 GHz
- 2048 MB
- 30 GB (SSD space)
- 1000 GB of bandwidth
- 2x 2.5 GHz
- 3072 MB
- 45 GB (SSD space)
- 1500 GB of bandwidth
- 4x 2.5 GHz
- 4096 MB
- 60 GB (SSD space)
- 2000 GB of bandwidth
- 4x 2.5 GHz
- 5120 MB
- 75 GB (SSD space)
- 2500 GB of bandwidth
- 6x 2.5 GHz
- 6144 MB
- 90 GB (SSD space)
- 3000 GB of bandwidth
- 8x 2.5 GHz
- 8192 MB
- 120 GB (SSD space)
- 4000 GB of bandwidth
- 8x 2.5 GHz
- 10240 MB
- 150 GB (SSD space)
- 5000 GB of bandwidth
If you need a dedicated server, they also offer four different plans. I do like how with your dedicated plan you can also choose where you want your server to be located. They do come with cPanel, Softaculous, KSPLICE. The prices range from anywhere from $109-$200/month. These prices are slightly lower than other hosts.
Last but not least is the media hosting. It is plan is dedicated to those that have a lot of videos or audio. It’s cool to see a company offering a service like this. I wish other hosts would also offer these services. I am posting a screenshot that shows the details of these plans. They are either $4.95/month – $44.95/month.
If you have been reading my reviews at tbwhs.com, you might notice that I prefer to use cPanel. HostNine does offer cPanel. With all of their plans, cPanel is 100% free. Meaning you’re not going to have to pay a yearly bill to have a cPanel license. It is a nice benefit of using HostNine. I wish other companies would start doing this. HostNine does make it very easy to use the WordPress CMS on their servers where you can install many popular frameworks like Genesis, Headway, and Elegant Themes on your server.
You can purchase domains with HostNine too. They are either going to be $15/year to 40/year. There are transfer fees from $15/year to $45/year, too. A lot of hosts will offer a free transfer, but not with HostNine. HostNine’s prices are higher than NameCheap, which is my preferred registrar.
Now comes the part of the review where I will put their performance, uptime, and customer support to the test. Then I will either recommend them or recommend another company over them.
HostNine Uptime & Performance
How good is HostNine’s uptime?
Spotty. My test shows that uptime was spotty. I could count on my site being down throughout the week about 10-15 minutes per week. HostNine does have a 99.9% uptime guarantee. With my test, it did look like they were up 99.91% of the time, as a whole. But, at times HostNine’s servers were only up 99.85%.
I do like how HostNine has a status page. It shows if there any known issues on their servers. Also, they do a good job at showing your when maintenance updates will be happening.
Research does show you could have problems with HostNine’s uptime. Many site owners have left negative reviews on tbwhs.com and other sites.
How good is HostNine’s performance?
Lacking. I tried and tested HostNine out. Response times were very high. The site would run poorly with no traffic and constantly took longer to load. Also, when I made WordPress changes, there was an extra delay to make the changes. Can’t understand why I had issues with performance. HostNine is using SSD hard drives on their servers. Also, you can pick your servers location. There shouldn’t be an issue with performance.
Here is some test I ran from various locations:
|Los Angeles||1.3 ms|
|New York||2.33 ms|
|San Francisco||2.92 ms|
After 11 lookups, the average response time of your name server ns1.p13.dynect.net is 2.85 milliseconds.
Also, this shows some website metrics:
|Loading Time||First Byte||Start Render||Speed Index|
Research, shows there are complaints about performance. Other hosting review sites have reviews left on HostNine which show they are not happy with their sites speed.
Hostnine Customer Service
How good is HostNine’s customer support?
Customer support is around for the most part. I mean phone support from 9 A.M. – 5:30 Monday through Friday. Of course, you can email them anytime; you would like or even jump on live chat 24/7. There are no business hours for live chat and of course email works all the time. I’m just not a huge fan of any host that puts business hours on their phone support, though. If I have problems or issues I need to be sorted out and it’s Friday at 5:32 P.M. I don’t want to have to wait until Monday at 9 A.M. to get the matter resolved.
Did run across this thread on WebHostingTalk.com which stated that it does take 3 days for HostNine to answer their support tickets, which is entirely to long.
I have tested out their live chat, and they do know what they are talking about. Support tickets take about 4-8 hours to get a response too. I just wish they didn’t have business hours for their customer support, though.
Research does show some customers are unhappy with customer support. Have gotten negative feedback on tbwhs.com. Also, I look around on other sites and found lots of complaints, too.
Hostnine Review Summary
Overall, I don’t feel that HostNine is a bad host. Do I recommend HostNine? No. HostNine does get a B- rating from the Better Business Bureau. In fact, I have tried and tested them out for one of my personal websites. The uptime is better than average, performance wise they couldn’t handle Divi, though.
HostNine has acquired CirtexHosting, too. Again, they are an EIG owned company which I generally do not support.
They are using SSD hosting which is a plus. Customer support is pretty decent. Ticket responses are handled promptly. However, they do lack telephone support which does have business hours. I just don’t feel comfortable recommending them for that reason. No, I am not stating that if you do choose to host with them that you’re going to have lots of problems. But, you could. There are lots of HostNine reviews which don’t speak highly of them.
Much Better Host
Research on HostNine.
Below are interviews with HostNine customers.
For quite some time now I have been getting a lot of mixed feedback on HostNine. I hear great things about them and then I hear horrible things about them. I haven’t ever actually hosted with them, so I wanted to change that by signing up for their service, and try them out for myself. This is one company that I am considering recommending to my readers based on my experience with them.
One thing that does scare me right off hand is EIG. They own many hosting companies like Hostgator, PowWeb, and Dot5Hosting, which have gone downhill, over the years. However, their other brands BlueHost, HostMonster, and Fatcow are some of their other brands which I do recommend to my readers. I do try to evaluate every host that I review and give them a level playing field. I try to keep anything I have read on them as unbiased as I can.
So on May 28, 2015, I decided to finally give HostNine an evaluation. Their service couldn’t be any worse than my MochaHost experience which was the host I previously tried before them. When I logged onto “live chat” with HostNine, I noticed right away that sales were much more personal when I asked questions. For instance, I had a question about using them for my leopard gecko site, and they asked me some questions about how much traffic did the site get, what did that business do, etc. I just felt like they genuinely cared about my website that I was going to be hosting on their servers.
Did sign up for their “Personal” plan which is $3.95/month. I caught HostNine on a day when they had a big 59% off sale. So, for the entire year my hosting bill is only $16.97/month. Not bad for an entire year of web hosting! I asked them how long before I would have access to my account? They told me it would be ready in 10-15 minutes after I paid my invoice. I paid my invoice, and my account was all set up instantly. Was pretty happy with how quickly HostNine got this all setup for me. I logged into my GoDaddy account and switched over my DNS settings to HostNine’s servers. In 12 hours the DNS was fully switched over.
HostNine Account Manager
HostNine does have a good backend account manager which I do like. Everything is neat and tidy when you log in to their account manager. To get to their account manager, you’re going to want to click on the “login” page. You will then enter your email account and password. This is what it looks like:
- Your Services. It shows all your web hosting services that you have with HostNine. For me, I have one which does go up to $41.70 next year if I do want to renew my plan.
- My Domains. It is where you can manage and order new domains with HostNine.
- Order. It is where you can place an order for a hosting plan or renew your domains with them.
- Support Ticket. This nest all your support tickets together. Rather than having to save all your support tickets in your email this is a nice place to view them quickly. Even if they are closed, you can view them all in one place. Wish other would start doing this.
- Knowledgebase. It is where you find all kinds of information about technical related stuff. I did do a search for “WordPress” “shared hosting,” and “cPanel” and nothing showed up, though. What a bummer.
- Video Tutorials. It is where all their video tutorials are. I clicked on it and got this message, though:
Next, are the account information, my invoices, and my emails were are pretty self-explanatory. Announcements, server status, and network issues are very helpful, though. They do show information when there are announcements; you can check servers for known problems. Very cool stuff.
So, we are now at the 35-day mark of hosting with HostNine. Here are my Pingdom stats that show my uptime statistics:
As you can see, my uptime has been 99.9% so far. So far the uptime is very good. It is something I have grown to expect with InMotion over the last seven years I have used their service. However, I should point out that from 5/28/15 to 5/30/15 I originally planned on using Divi for my leopard gecko site. I do have a complaint so far with HostNine, though.
My website was never functional with Divi. I went back and forth with HostNine to figure out why the site was taking 20+ seconds to load.
As an update, I have been monitoring my site with Pingdom more since then. It does look like that downtime is becoming more frequent with HostNine, though. As the screenshot up above shows from 9/1/15 to 9/7/15, the uptime is 99.85%. At times my website has been down for 2,6,9, and 16 minutes at a time. However, as of 8/8/15, I will be installing my Headway WordPress theme on the site and seeing if they have any problems or issues with it. It does look like my site does go down at least once every 1-5 days, though.
HostNine Customer Support
The customer support I have received with HostNine has been very good, though. Whenever I start a ticket request, they usually get back to me in 1-6 hours. They give you very long answers to your questions and concerns. Live chat does connect in about 30 seconds or so and they will take the time to help troubleshoot anything you might have questions about. I did want to show you our “live chat” transcript so you can see the quality of customer support:
Name: Garen Arnold
Choose a department: H9 Support
E-mail: (removed my email address)
Hello, Garen Arnold. How may I help you?
Do you know if leopardgeckoland.com has fully propagated over yet?
I can take a look, Garen. Give me just a few moments to do so.
How long ago did you update the nameservers, Garen?
Or edit the DNS on this domain?
I believed at 7 or 8 last night.
It does appear to be fully propagated for the most part:
at least according to the DNS report here:
Ok, the homepage isn’t showing correctly. Are you just getting a navigation
bar on the left and then sand?
Yes, clicking around to the other links load content in the center but it does appear
beside the background and
nav bar the home page is blank. Is this a Wordpress site Garen?
Gotcha. First, let me get you verified so I can help you out. Please go to your Customer Area
(https://secure.hostnine.com/billing/clientarea.php) and log in. Then go here
https://secure.hostnine.com/billing/requestsupportcode.php and click the Get Live Support
Code button. Paste the code that populates into your reply to me so that we can get rolling!
ok, where is the live chat code button?
https://secure.hostnine.com/billing/requestsupportcode.php << click that should bring you
to the page with it.
(blocked my code out)
Great thanks, Garen. Let me have a tech take a look at this for us, just a few moments.
Thanks for your patience Garen. Apparently, a front page is not defined on your site.
You would want to do that in the Wp-admin area > Settings > Reading
It is defined. You can login to (blocked my login details out) and see it is defined.
Let me relay this to my tech Garen, just a moment.
Thanks for your patience Garen. Alright, we’re going to escalate this issue via ticket for
further investigation. They need a little more time to find out why there isn’t anything
loading on the home page. Let me get this all documented and sent over, and I’ll have the
ticket ID for you here shortly.
ok, it’s odd when I define the about us page it works?
Maybe I should copy a page and then see define it and see if that works?
Elegant Themes Said It Was Fine?
I had Elegant Themes customer support try to troubleshoot Divi, and they told me to do a clean install and update it to the latest version. I did that, but I couldn’t ever get it to function correctly. They even logged into my site and confirmed it wasn’t an issue. I did end up switching to Sparkling by Colorlib, and immediately I noticed that leopardgeckoland.com is loading in 200 milliseconds. Perhaps the “Personal” plan can not support Divi?
I should point out that leopardgeckoland.com doesn’t get any noticeable traffic currently. It’s still being developed. I will continue to update you on my HostNine experience as I monitor it with Pingdom Tools and develop my leopard gecko website.